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TOWN OF TUXEDO
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Agenda for Town Board Meeting October 25, 2021

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Town Board Tuxedo Farms Discussion Meeting October 13, 2021

A large portion of the October 13 Town Board meeting  was dedicated to a discussion of the proposed changes for the Tuxedo Farms Project.  
Follow the link below to listen to a clean audio recording of the entire discussion, featuring comments from each of the individual Town Board members and their attorney as well as  representatives of Tuxedo Farms and the general public.

Click here to listen to the recording 

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Town Board Meeting October 13, 2021

The Town Board met on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 6:30 pm.  All members were present.

The meeting began with a Public Hearing on the Preservation of the Fire District:
Town Attorney Howard Protter first explained that since the Town had officially become a Town-Village, it was necessary to legally state that the Fire District would not be affected and that it would remain the same.  There were no public comments and the Board subsequently adopted the law unanimously.

Presentation:
Sean Hoffman from Town Engineers H2M, provided an update on the sewer plant.  He explained that the DEC had inspected the existing plant, which is over 70 years old and at the end of its useful life, in March and then again in July.  In March, the plant had been  given a marginal grading but  in July it was found to be unsatisfactory. The plant is scheduled for another inspection in December.  Related companies has constructed a new plant on the property directly adjacent and it is 95% complete.  At this point, all that remains to be done is to the connect the pipes.
Supervisor English elaborated on Mr. Hoffman’s presentation, using the presentation diagrams to point out/highlight various areas of the crumbling plant, pointing to specific areas of deterioration and decay and stressing the importance of bringing the new plant on line as soon as possible.  The existing plant serves 260 homes located in the Hamlet, East Village and Tuxedo Park and it should it fail for whatever reason, these properties would likely be in some serious trouble.   

Discussion:
Tuxedo Farms – Follow up on comments/questions from the public. There was an opening statement from Supervisor English followed by individual statements from each of the Board members.  In response, one of Relateds’ Executive Vice Presidents gave a presentation.  
To listen to a recording of this portion of the meeting, click here.
*As soon as it is made available to the Public, TPFYI will share a copy of the Related Presentation.

Agenda Items:
Budget Modifications – This was tabled.

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department was finishing up with patching the roads  and would begin picking up leaves on Monday, October 18.  This will continue until December 15 after which the leaves will have to be bagged.  The Department has recently filled the bins at Quarry Field with fresh mulch.   The Superintendent recently spoke with a contractor who informed  him that they would be milling Route 17 from Hillburn to the Tuxedo line.  Once the milling has been completed, they will repave the whole thing!  There IS an end in sight to the project!!!
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum announced that beginning on October 24, the National Suicide Hotline would  be going to an abbreviated number…988.  Early voting will begin in Orange County on October 23.  polling information has been posted to Town website.  Hunting Season has officially begun and hunters must register for permits. Lastly, Mrs. Dollbaum reported that she had recently passed her notary exam and as such would be available for that service moving forward. 

Minutes -  the minutes of the September 27 meeting were approved unanimously.

Vouchers – were approved.

Public Comments:
Greg Beard cautioned the Board not to rush their negotiations with Related.  He suggested that while the fact that Related is a billion dollar developer with some well-known and wonderful projects is a comforting one, the Town should remember that this meant that they were also billion dollar negotiators.  He urged the Board to hire advisors, in particular one who could help them through the negotiations.  He believes that the review should have a measured pace and not be rushed. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting October 13, 2021

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Town Board Meeting September 27, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 7:00 pm.  Councilperson McMillen was absent. 

The meeting began with a swearing in ceremony for the Town’s newest police officer, Tuxedo resident Alexandra Gundermann.  She was sworn in by Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum with a welcoming ceremony from Lieutenant John Norton, Sergeant Douglas Russell, Detective Stefan Christian and Police Officer Will Hall. 

Next on the agenda was a presentation from the Related Company on their plans for the Tuxedo Farms development.  Greg Gushee, Executive Vice President of Related and Paul Molana from Hart Howden (architects and planners for the project) delivered the presentation.  To see a copy of what they presented, click here. Additionally, Related (through their attorneys)  sent a letter to the Town Board, which they received earlier that day,  stating that they would be applying for an amendment to the Special Permit to the property.  Among other things, proposed changes would increase the potential unit count from 1,200 to 2,000.  To see a copy of the letter, click here.

         Agenda Items:

  1. 2020 Tax Certiorari Proceedings – These are suits brought against the Town by JP Morgan Chase Bank, The Tuxedo Club, Inc., and Martin Friedman.  The Board voted unanimously to authorize town attorneys Jacobowitz and Gubits to represent them in these cases.
  2. Reschedule Public Hearing on “Fire District Preservation” to October 13 at 7 pm – This hearing was originally scheduled for September 13 but wasn’t held because that meeting was conducted via WebEx and the hearing had been noticed for in person.  This is an action which is made necessary because the Town has become a Town Village. 

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that this would be  the last week for patching the roads in Town.  The Department is getting their trucks ready for leaf collection which will take place from October 15 to December 15 weather permitting.  After that, any leaves need to be bagged.  The Town website has more details about collection (what is allowed, sizes, etc.)
The Department will also be doing their final roadside grass cutting in the coming week.  Finally, he reported that 4 loads of material from the former mulch pile had been removed recently. 
A resident from Benjamin Meadow Rd. said she’d recently seen a number of round holes in the middle of the road and wondered if anyone knew what they were or what was causing them.  The general consensus seemed to be that they may have been caused by the number of trucks and tractor trailers which are now speeding up Benjamin Meadow and Brammertown Roads despite signage indicating that they aren’t allowed on those roads. 
Supervisor English responded that traffic enforcement by the police department seems to be lacking and he is very unhappy about this.  The regular police report listed 98 traffic citations and 94 of those were filed by one policeman (a part time officer).  Bill Lemanski remarked that he thought at least some of the traffic on these roads during the Renaissnce Faire was due to a navigation application for phones called Waze.  If it looks like there is traffic on 17A, the app will reroute people via Benjamin Meadow and Brammertown.  He suggested putting a policeman a few hundred yards down Benjamin Meadow Rd and pulling over the trucks and speeding cars and issuing them tickets! 
Supervisor English suggested that the Town could ask the Renaissance Faire to sell dated tickets and to put a quota put on how many they could sell per day.  As of now, one can buy a ticket and use it any day of their choosing.
Speaking for a number of residents, (Pat Barone, Bill Lemanski, John Dunne, Diane Laxman and Pam White) Mary Hanson said that she had tried emailing the Chief of Police about this issue but he never answered her.  When she called the Police Station to ask where he was she was told “we don’t know.”  Mrs. Hanson emphasized the importance of this safety issue further indicating that she was afraid someone would get hurt or killed by the speeding cars and trucks.  She feels the Town Board is to blame because they allow the Renaissance Faire to sell the open ended  tickets and they don’t charge the Faire any money to operate.  The Faire parking lots are full and closed by 2 or 3 every day and after which people  try to park anywhere they can find. 
Supervisor English reiterated that police enforcement has become a real
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that the 2022 Preliminary Budget for the Fire District had been submitted.  A public hearing will take place on October 19 at 7:30 pm.  She has also been working with Brian Sullivan to get the Preliminary Town Budget ready.  It is due on October 5.   Lastly, she announced that early voting would start on October 23.  There are 7 locations in Orange County.  Warwick is the closest location to Tuxedo. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum added to his report that he had met with the water filtration people who told him that the water would need to be tested.  He is moving ahead with this because he can’t get a price on a new filtration system without the test results. problem and he assured everyone that he was doing everything he could to change this. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that she had been working on the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) and exploring what the Town could spend this funding on.  In researching what other towns are doing she discovered that many of them have been setting up vaccine sites in their fire houses.  Subsequently, she spoke to John Kilduff about doing this at the Ambulance Corps.  She has also seen money available for electric vehicle charging stations so she is looking into that as well. 
Councilmember May noted that there is a cemetery in Southfields (next to the Carlyn Building) for the Revolutionary War.  It is in very bad shape and she wondered if there might be money available to clean it up.  Rob Dollbaum added that there was also one across from the Arden Road that could use some work. 

Minutes – The minutes for the regular meeting on  9/13 were unanimously approved.

Vouchers- The vouchers were approved unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:53 pm

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 27, 2021

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Town Board Meeting September 13, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 7 pm, via WebEx.   All members were present.

Supervisor English opened the meeting by announcing that he had tested positive for Covid the week prior and had been under quarantine.  There was at least one other Town Hall employee who also tested positive.  This was the reason that the announced public hearing on Fire District Preservation has been rescheduled for the next Town Board meeting.  The Supervisor added that he had been taken off of quarantine as of that day, but because he still wasn’t feeling very well, he had asked Deputy Supervisor Lindsay to run the meeting. 

Agenda Items:

  1.  new Freightliner dump truck – Town Attorney Protter has vetted the lease agreement and it was approved unanimously.
  2. Discuss Zoom Room contract – Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum met with a representative of Zoom along with Supervisor English and Councilmember May.  They received an estimate for creating a “Zoom Room” in the Community Room at Town Hall which would allow the Town to run hybrid meetings (both in person and virtually).  The estimate included $32,382 for equipment (not sold by Zoom so perhaps the Town could find some of it at a cheaper price and perhaps not every piece of equipment would be necessary) and $17,500 for “deployment” of the system (which includes delivery and set up) for a total of $49,802.  Ultimately it was decided that the Board would look into alternative equipment and set ups in an attempt to bring the cost down. 

 

Department Updates: 
Police Department - Chief Abbott reported that the department is currently testing out various body cameras since these were a topic of interest in the police reinvention committee talks.  He then showed some footage of 3 police officers rescuing a dog stuck under a log in a river.  Lastly. he reported that he had been meeting with the Supervisor about the budget and setting goals for next year.
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum – reporting that the State would be visiting  to look at the Town Hall roof on Wednesday Sepember 15.  The bid opening for the project will will take place on Tuesday September 28.  Next she stated that the zoning code amendments had been sent to the Orange County Planning Department. If they have comments, the Town should hear by the end of September.  Finally, she reported having had meetings with 2 different companies that offer credit card, debit card and e check payment services.  There would be no cost to the Town as the associated fees would be fully absorbed by the customer.   This system could work for tax collection! 
Frank Peverly ­– noted that things were quiet at the Zoning Board.  They are waiting on the completed environmental assessment on the Gulf Station and then that will come before the Board.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that her only update pertained to  the Town Hall roof, as previously reported by Mrs. Dollbaum. 
Councilmember May said she had met with Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum and Jay Reichgott about putting together a list of projects for the Covid recovery money.  So far, they are looking at the zoom room and water filtration for the highway department, where the water is extremely hard.  They are also looking into solar car chargers. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that the Town was in receipt of the results of the latest DEC inspection of the Hamlet sewer plant.  They are back down to rating us as unsatisfactory.  The Town will need to pass a sewer law.
Councilmember McMillen commented he had nothing significant  to report,
Supervisor English reported that the Town continues to pressure Related for a date to turn on the new sewer plant. They still plan to do this in December.  Greg Gushee of Related wants to do a presentation at the next Town Board meeting regarding the revised special permit for the project.  Lastly, he announced that Family Fun Day has been postponed indefinitely due to recent increases in Covid cases. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that the DOT and the MTA would be coming out shortly with plans for the East Village grade crossing.  Next he noted that the Town had fared very well in the recent flooding. His department is working on road patching and is beginning to prepare for leaf season and snow.  GPS has now been installed on all Town owned vehicles.  There is much interest in the dirt that the department has been working on from the old mulch pile, but final approval needs to come from the DEC.  And finally, there is still mulch and compost available at Quarry Field. 

Minutes of the August 23rd meeting were accepted and unanimously approved.

Voucherswere accepted and unanimously approved.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David reported that during the recent storms her basement had flooded and further noted that the river had come up and gone down very fast.  She is suggesting that the Town set up some kind of alert system before storms for people who live along the river.  She would also like to see 24-hour police protection during that time.  She was told that the Town already has the Nixle alert system and she was urged to sign up for that service. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 13, 2021

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Town Board Meeting August 23, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, August 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present. 

An Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel was held just prior to the meeting.

The first item of business was a continuation of the Public Hearing on the Zoning Code Amendments:
The only comment came in the form of a question from Michael Squillini who wanted to know what was happening with the Board of Architectural Review which he had heard had been dismantled.  Town Attorney Howard Protter explained to him that the requirement for a project to undergo architectural review has not been discontinued, but the Planning Board serves in this capacity.  There was no further discussion and Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum stated that she had not received any written comments either.  The Board thus voted unanimously to close the public hearing.

Presentation:
Shane Smith from the Highway Department was tasked with creating a long term maintenance plan for the Town roads.  Using a program called Cornell Local Roads, he developed a 6-year plan.  Click here to view.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  • Appoint Todd Darling to Board of Fire Commissioners – this seat became vacant with the passing of Charlie Jones.  Mr. Darling was  The Board approved this recommendation unanimously and set a date of 12/31/24 for the expiration of the term. 
  • Introduce Local Law “Preservation of Fire District” and schedule public hearing – Town Attorney Protter explained that passing the law had been made necessary by the recent consolidation of the Town Village and that there will be no changes to the district. The law was unanimously approved by the Board.  The public hearing will take place at the next Town Board meeting on September 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm.
  • Review and approve TJFD (Tuxedo Joint Fire District) License Agreement for Quarry Field practice space – This item was introduced by the Supervisor as being a piece of housekeeping to memorialize an agreement that was reached jointly by the Town Board and Fire District.  Councilmember McMillen wondered why it was being done now.  He suggested it might be easier to just deed a portion of Quarry Field to the fire department and let them assume the liability for practices.  Town Attorney Protter explained that this is something that insurance companies and attorneys for both the Town and the Fire District want.  The Fire District is just waiting for the Town Board to approve the document and then they will do the same.  The agreement was then approved unanimously.
  • Discuss speed radar trailers – The Town is considering purchasing two speed radar trailers at a cost of $24,529.54 each. These are radar data collection devices which are mounted on trailers so they can be moved to multiple locations.  The Supervisor explained that speeding throughout Town is probably the biggest and most frequent complaint that the Board receives.  Councilmember McMillen wondered why the Town needed a machine to indicate where speeding was occurring.  He added that he thought an actual police presence in those places might be more effective.  An audience member suggested that perhaps the Town could find grant funds to pay for this, but Supervisor English responded that he didn’t want to wait to start using the devices.  Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the purchase.
  • Resolution to formalize a 7-year lease-to-own agreement for new Freightliner dump truck – The Town Attorney requested more time to review the entire document and the resolution was tabled.
  • Petition of relief from Building Moratorium Local Law – Watchtower – Watchtower has requested relief from the building moratorium law, which in turn will allow them to go before the Planning Board with their driveway realignment project..    It was unanimously approved. 

 

Other Business:

  • A resolution accepting the terms of Building Inspector David Maikisch’s reworked contract was unanimously approved.
  • The bid awards of the following surplus vehicles were accepted:

1995 International dump truck  $4000
2000 International dump truck. $8600
2006 Chevy Silverado               $1225

  • A resolution appointing Bill Lemanski to the Planning Board –       was unanimously approved.  He will be taking Bill Gould’s seat.

Department Updates:
Superintendent of Highway Dollbaum reported that his department is continuing to work on patching the roadways.  They are also separating rocks from the mulch pile and will be doing dirt testing shortly.  He thanked Shane Smith for his hard work on the road study.
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum stated that she has been working on the commuter parking lot.  There is a new system of paying for parking spaces, which will be clearly explained with signage.  Payment can now be made by phone or text.  No sign up or advanced account is necessary.  Michael Cardona, the new Dog Control Officer, will also be in charge of parking enforcement.  Lastly, Clerk Dollbaum has been in touch with Zoom to investigate setting up the same system that the Village of Tuxedo Park is in the process of installing for remote meetings.  The Board can expect a presentation on this in the near future.
Police Department – There was no representative present but their report was submitted.  The Board commented that there had been one officer who had written 84 out of the 89 total traffic citations for the entire department.  The Board resolved to speak to the Chief about this as this has apparently been the case with some regularity for a while.  They also discussed setting up a system for monitoring the police vehicles so that they can plan more effectively for replacements.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Updates:
Councilmember May has been studying the Town’s Covid expenses.  She is actively working on a plan for the funding that has been awarded to the Town for this purpose.  Rules and regulations for this have just come out.
Supervisor English reported the following:

  • He and Planning Board Chair John Banyo recently visited the present plant for Skyview Skylights who appeared at the last meeting asking for a waiver from the building moratorium in order to build a project on Sterling Mine Road.  
  • He met with Gardiner Hempel and Ed Brennan of the Fire Department to review the Town’s agreement with the Fire District. 
  • In preparation for working on the annual Budget, Supervisor English met with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and will be meeting with Police Chief Abbot on Wednesday.
  •  The Tuxedo Day Camp has finished a very successful season and the Supervisor congratulated Recreation Coordinator Claire Dougher and her staff for their work. 
  • Following up on a suggestion from the Police Reinvention Committee, he met with a candidate for a part-time officer.  They are awaiting the results of a background check before moving forward. 
  • He has been working on finding a use for the screened material from the Highway Department site. 

Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that Engineer Al Fusco has indicated that the RFP for the Town Hall roof project will be ready next week.  This project will be partially paid for by a grant that former State Senator Jen Metzger got for the Town.
Councilmember Reichgott congratulated town resident firefighters Chris Kasker and Chris Nunez who recently passed their firefighter lung certification.  This represents 130 hours of work before certification. 
Councilmember David McMillen reported that he had been working on the internet/phone service for Contractor’s Rd.  It looks like this area will be made part of a 5G project which is being scheduled for November.

The minutes for the August 9th meeting were approved.

Vouchers were unanimously approved

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola commented that once again over the weekend, traffic had been backed up to the Gulf Station because of the Sloatsburg roads project.   He requested that the Board ask either Karl Brabenec or Mike Martucci, along with a representative of the State DOT to come to a future Town Board meeting so that they could further discuss the issue with the Board and the people of Tuxedo. 
Mike Squillini inquired about a possible thruway exit/entrance at Route 210.  He was told that because PIPC now owns and controls that property, this would likely never happen. 
Irene Denero expressed her dismay that the police do not seem to be issuing traffic citations.  Additionally, she noted that she had been a member of the Police Reinvention Committee and that group had recommended to the Tuxedo Police that they submit their blotter to the Photo News the way they used to, but to date it has not happened. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 23, 2021

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting August 12, 2021

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Town Board Meeting August 9, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember McMillen was absent.

Public Hearing: Zoning Code Amendments

The hearing began with a presentation by Town Planner, Bonnie Franson.  She provided a brief history of the project followed by a recounting of the highlights of the proposed amendments.  To see a copy of Ms. Franson’s presentation, click here.

Hank Salzer of Southfields expressed confusion as his property is listed as residential but the map shows it as commercial.
Robert Dollbaum also had some questions as to how his property in Southfields is going to be classified. 
Ms. Franson said she would check. 
Daniel Kraushaar, attorney for the owner of property at 655 Sterling Mine Rd., suggested that a municipality’s comprehensive plan is the overarching policy statement and the zoning law is just meant to implement that plan.  He further noted that he had not heard anything about updating the comprehensive plan. 
Town Attorney Howard Protter responded that the proposed changes were being made to implement the existing comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2018. 
Former Town Board member Francine Rauch thanked the Board for their all of the time and effort they had put into this plan, further commenting that she knew from experience how hard this kind of work could be. 

Hank Salzer then spoke about the recent change to Sloatsburg’s traffic pattern and renewed conversations about the possibility of a Thruway Exit 15B.  He wondered whether Sloatsburg knew something that Tuxedo didn’t.
He was told that these subjects were not a part of the discussion about the zoning amendments.

The public hearing was continued to August 23. 

 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Mary Graetzer suggested that the Board consider putting signs up during the Renaissance Faire and apple picking season which would reroute traffic from Route 17 going North up Sterling Mine Road to Long Meadow Rd and then over to 210 where they could continue on to the Faire or apple picking sites. She said she feared that otherwise there would be a traffic disaster due to the combination of the contiunted construction going on in Sloatsburg and the new traffic pattern on Route 17. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to approve sign permit – New York Renaissance Faire – the application is for 2 signs, one on Vera Johnson’s Antiques property going north and one on Hank Salzer’s Southfields property going south, directing people to the turnoff on Route 210 and thus to the Faire.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay pointed out that if the Town went with Mary Graetzer’s suggestion, no one would come through Tuxedo and this is not what the Town wants.  Rob Dollbaum suggested that if traffic issues were to occur, it would be in Sloatsburg and this would prevent people from easily getting to Tuxedo.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay noted that the Village of Tuxedo Park traditionally put out a sign directing people away from the Village and further North on Route 17 as the entrance to the Park is often mistaken for the entrance to the Renaissance Faire.  The Board then unanimously approved the application.
  2. Resolution to approve sign permit – Maskers Orchard – Maskers has applied for the usual 7 signs during apple picking season (roughly mid-August to November 15).  This was unanimously approved.
  3. Petition of relief from the Building Moratorium Local Law – Sterling Mine USA, LLC – Representing the owner of the building at 665 Sterling Mine Re., Attorney Daniel Krausaar stated that he had previously appeared before the TAC Committee detailing his proposed project and the committee had told him he would need to apply for relief from the building moratorium before the project could go forward.  Subsequently, Mr. Krausaar worte a dedtailed letter describing the plans for a building containing spaces for skylight manufacturing and sales, light food dining/coffee shop and local office space.  Building Inspector David Maikisch replied to the letter and noted that while the proposed building uses of skylight sales, light food dining/coffee shop and local office space did conform  with the “uses permitted by right under the current NB (Neighborhood Business) the manufacturing of the skylights did not conform with the current or future zoning.  There ensued a debate over whether or not the applicant had correctly received permission to apply for a waiver from the moratorium.  At the request of Supervisor English, the Board and their attorney broke into an executive session to discuss the matter.  When they returned, Town Attorney Protter stated that the property in question is located in a Neighborhood Business (NB) zone, which does not allow that assembly is a fit.  There was some further back and forth between the two attorneys.  A woman who identified herself as Esty Leverton, apprentice architect on the project, commented that it was a beautiful building that would be producing beautiful skylights and she wondered why such a business would not be welcomed in the Town.  Supervisor English responded that the Town would like to try to find a way to make the project work.  He suggested that they pause the discussion and investigate options.  It was agreed that the Supervisor would go visit the Skylight’s present plant in Hillburn to try to get a better understanding of what was being proposed.  Councilmember Reichgott agreed adding that this was the first time the Board had seen this application.  While at first glance it didn’t appear to them to fit into the definition of either the current zoning or the proposed new zoning, they would like to take some time to see if they could find a way to make the project fit in a way that would be to both the Town’s and the applicant’s best interest. 

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum commented that rocks, dirt, compost and mulch are still available at Quarry Field for residents. The department and concluding with chip sealing and will begin road patching and this week.  They will also be repairing catch basins.  The Watchtower has completed their month’s work on the rock pile and they have done a good job.  The department will be working toward some kind of approval from the DEC in an attempt to move forward. 
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that there has been an increase in commuter parking permits as people are starting to go back to work in the city.  Also, the current zoning map has been uploaded to the Town website.  She is looking into ways for the Town to accept credit cards for payment. Additionally, she is in receipt of the hard copy of the 2020 audit from Arias Cooper (Town accountants). Finally, she reported that she had hand delivered to Goshen the documents pertaining to opting out of cannabis for the ballot referendum along with the information for the vote on the Library budget.

Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English reported that the Watchtower organization has completed their one month service project at the Highway Department site.  He reiterated that the Tuxedo Farms LDC held a meeting on July 22 at which Dillon Norris of Related presented a schedule for completed the construction of the wastewater treatment plant.  He also stated that the police reform initiative report had been submitted to New York State and the Town Board will continue to review the report and look for ways to implement the recommendations provided.  Next he said that the Board ehas hired East Village resident Michael Cardona as Tuxedo Dog Control Officer.  His training  has been completed.  He also reported that the hiring process for a full time Police Officer is in the final stages.  They are currently waiting for the final report of the medical exam and then will be completing the hiring and will make an announcement.  As far as Recreation and Events in the Town go, he said this is the last week of a very successful Tuxedo Day Camp and thanked Claire Dougher and her staff for jaking thius possible.  Finally, he reported that the NY/NJ Trail Conference had held a charity/fund raising event on July 31st where about 150 runners ran a mile course through Harriman State Park.  The event was staged in Powerhouse Park.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay has finally received word that the $100,000 grant from former State Senator Jen Metzger has been processed and the Town will be receiving the funds.  They will be using some of the funding to repair the Town Hall roof and she and Councilmember May will be attending a webinar about other possible allowable expenditures. 
Councilmember May  has been looking into the glass recycling.  She is pursuing the idea of putting dumpsters at Quarry Field as well as in the parking lot across from the Fire Station in Eagle Valley.  Residents wanting to recycle glass will then be able to deliver it to either of these sites.  IWS will pick the glass up from there. 

Minutes for the July 26 meeting were unanimously approved.

Vouchers were signed.

Public Comments:
Mary Graetzer noted that in the past, paper agendas were always available for attendees at the back of the meeting room and suggested that as in person meetings were resuming, it would be a good idea to start this up again.  The Supervisor agreed. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 9, 2021

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Town Board Meeting July 26, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, July 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember McMillen was absent.

The meeting began with two public hearings:

  1. Opt-Out of Allowing Cannabis Retail Dispensaries and On-Site Cannabis Consumption Establisments, Opt-Out of Allowing Cannabis Retail Dispensaries or Opt-Out of Allowing On-Site Cannabis Consumption Establishments.

    The Town Board would like for the residents to make the decision   
         about what degree of cannabis is allowed in Town.  The way to do   that is to put the question on the ballot as a referendum in November. The public hearing is the first step for doing that. 
Rachel Bruess representing the Democrats of Orange County was the first speaker. She is in favor of opting in to both the dispensaries and the consumption establishments because she believes that the Town should be able to share in the economic benefits that will come from legalizing cannabis.  If the Town opts out, they will not receive anything from sales, but if they opt in, they can get 3% of the sales.  She said she had visited a dispensary in Great Barrington, MA and was impressed with how clean and well run it was.  Hank Selzer stated that if a municipality opts out now, they can opt in later, but not vice versa.  He doesn’t feel that Tuxedo is a good place for a “night club” or cannabis consumption establishment and he urged the Board to opt out of those and wait to see what happens in other municipalities. 
Gonul Kamfoi feels that the Town should definitely opt out of consumption establishments but opt in to a retail outlet.
Gary Heavner spoke in favor of the Town opting out of both the dispensaries and the consumption establishments.  He said he had been dealing with the affects of cannabis consumption professionally for years and as such doesn’t want to see it in this Town.  He recommends people should research the state of Colorado and see what happened there when they legalized cannabis.  Colorado was promised that a lot of good things would come with the legalization but in fact, across the boards it has been a disaster and they have seen an increase in crime and not much economic benefit. 
Jerry Mottola feels there is no good benefit for the Town and hopes the Board will decide to opt out of all options. 
Irene DeNaro would like to see the Town leave their options open for retail but doesn’t think the consumption sounds like a good deal for the Town. 
After some discussion among the members, the Board decided to put forth a resolution to opt out of consumption establishments but not retail establishments.  It was passed 3-1 with Supervisor English voting no. 
2-Police Reform Reinvention Draft Report-As required by Governor Cuomo, the Town appointed a committee to conduct a study of the Tuxedo Police Department and their policies.  The committee has submitted this  report to the Town Board and the Board needs to accept the report and then send it back to the Governor. 
Gary Heavner was a member of the committee.  He stated that he felt it was good for the community to learn what the police do and don’t do. 
Police Chief Abbot stated that he had been a part of the committee but was not in charge of it.  He added that his department was already implementing many of the suggestions that have come out of the report. 
Sue Scher, also a member of the committee, said it was a goal of the entire Town to have better policing. 
After the public hearing was closed, the Board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution accepting the report and it will be filed with the State. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution Determining the Validity of a Petition for a Proposition to Increase the Town Board Budgetary Allocation for the Tuxedo Park Library – This simply allows the allocation to be put on the ballot in November for the residents to decide.  It was passed unanimously by the Board.

 

Department Updates:
Police Department –
Police Chief Abbott reported that Police Officer Hall had a save when he administered two doses of NARCAN to a resident who had overdosed.  The subject was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital and survived. The Chief also reported that the department had recently received the sexual harassment prevention and NYS De-escalation training as well as their annual firearms training. 
Supervisor English read into the record a letter he received praising Officer Shiloh for his help in a mental health incident.
Highway Department:
Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department is about to start patching and culvert repairs.  He also commented that the Watchtower volunteers are moving along nicely with screening the material from the old mulch pile.  Finally, he said, as per usual, mulch, compost and stones are available for residents in the bins in the Quarry Field parking lot. 
Town Clerk:
Marisa Dollbaum stated that the repairs have been completed on the ramp in the back of the Town Hall building (leading up to the Community Room).  These repairs were all funded by a grant.  She also commented that there were volunteer opportunities at the pollinator meadow. 

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor English reported that there had been a Fishing Derby on July 17 which was attended by 20 kids.  The Watchtower supplied breakfast as well as a hot dog lunch.  Camp is continuing to go well.  With regard to the recent  LDC meeting on July 22, the Supervisor reported that Dylan Norris of Related had provided an update  on the progress at the new sewer plant and said that the projected date for opening would be in early December.  Lastly, the Supervisor noted that the Town is working on hiring a full time officer for the police department and that there is a female candidate currently in the final stages of review. 

Town Board Updates:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay stated that she has been working on the Climate Smart Community certification process.  She will be looking to get points for informational seminars that have been presented as well as for the solar roof on the highway department and compost bins that the Town sold to residents. 
Councilmember May has been looking into a solution for residents to recycle glass as IWS will no longer accept it.  After a conversation with IWS, it was decided to locate 2 cubic yard bins at the firehouse in Town and also in Eagle Valley.  Henceforth, residents can take their glass to either place for disposal. 
Councilmember Reichgott noted that he has been preparing for the upcoming Public Hearing on Zoning Changes, which will take place on August 9. 

Other Business:

  1. Resolution for the Town Clerk to Approve Surplus Vehicle Bids – These included 10 items which earned $15,558 for the Town and was unanimously approved by the Board.
  2. Resolution for Town Clerk to put Town Vehicles and Equipment out to surplus – This consists of 2 trucks no longer useful for the Highway Department.  It was unanimously approved by the Board.
  3. Resolution to Approve Building Moratorium waiver request – the residents of 10 Alexander Drive are seeking permission to put in a private grape vineyard.  Since this is allowed under both the new and old zoning, the Board approved it unanimously.  This will simply allow the application to move to the Planning Board for review.

Minutes for July 12 meeting were unanimously approved.

Vouchers were unanimously approved.

Public Comments:
Sue Scher made a plea for the Board to hold future meetings both in person and via WebEx (or possibly some other platform) giving people the option to attend virtually.  The Board stated that they agreed with this and were currently working on it.  She also commented that twice recently during storms massive trees went down across wires and, as a result, the residents of her neighborhood, Clinton Woods, had no way of getting out because there is no emergency access.  They are surrounded by Sterling Forest State Park and understand that negotiations with the Park would be necessary in order to implement an emergency access/egress.  She requested that the Town start those negotiations.
Jerry Mottola wondered where in Town was there a location for a potential cannabis retail shop that wasn’t either within 200 ft of a church or 500 ft. from the school? Additionally, he reported that recently the southbound traffic on Route 17 has been backed up to the Gulf Station because of the construction in Sloatsburg.  He requested that the Town get a Department Of Transportation spokesman to appear at an upcoming meeting to answer to the residents about the impacts this project will have on Town of Tuxedo residents.
Gary Heavner stated that the people who run the Tuxedo Park Library are doing a great job and that this institution is one of the reasons why he is glad  that he moved to Town.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 26, 2021

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Notice of hearing for Opt-Out Cannaibis Laws Part 1 and Part 2

Notice of hearing for Police Reform and Revitalization Collaborative Report Part 1 and Part 2

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Notice of Tuxedo Farms LDC Meeting July 22, 2021

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Notice of Two Public Hearings July 26, 2021

Below please find notice for two Public Hearings scheduled for Monday, July 26th at 7:00pm.  The regular bi-monthly Town Board meeting will follow immediately after.

Please visit the Town website at https://www.tuxedogov.org/town-board/pages/proposed-local-laws to review information on the proposed versions of the Cannabis Opt-Out Law.  The Police Reform and Revitalization Collaborative report is also posted on the website at https://www.tuxedogov.org/town-board/files/tuxedo-ny-police-reform-and-revitalization-collaborative.

Notice of hearing for Opt-Out Cannaibis Laws Part 1 and Part 2

Notice of hearing for Police Reform and Revitalization Collaborative Report Part 1 and Part 2

 

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Town Board Meeting July 12, 2021

The Town Board met in person at 6:30 pm on Monday, July 12, 2021.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay attended via WebEx.  All other members were present. 

The Board began the meeting with an Executive Session regarding employment history pursuant to Public Officers Law 105.  Afterward, the first item on the agenda was a zoning presentation given by Councilmember Reichgott outlining the proposed revisions to the Town’s zoning code, which have been in development for years.  Tuxedo’s master plan was originally adopted in 1972 and the zoning code was then adopted in 1975. The Master Plan was subsequently revised and adopted in 2018.  The draft law currently under consideration will reflect what is in revised Master Plan.  Councilmember Reichgott pointed out that in reviewing the proposed legislation, it is important to first study the map at the end of the document in order to understand where the individual zones are before moving on to the use tables, which explain what is and is not permitted in each individual zone.  To view a copy of the proposed zoning law, click here. A copy can also be found on the Town website.
The public hearing will start on August 9 at the regular Town Board meeting.

Agenda Items:

  • Introduce Cannabis Opt-Out Local Laws and schedule Public Hearing-The Town attorneys have submitted 3 different versions of the proposed Cannabis Opt-Out law.  The first version will opt out for both dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments.  The second version will opt out only for on-site consumption establishments and the third version will opt out for only dispensaries.  The Board has stated that they would like to hear what the public thinks so after some discussion, they decided to present the first version at a public hearing at the next Town Board meeting on July 26 at 7:00 pm.  After the hearing, the Board will vote on which version should appear on the ballot in November.  If the Town does not take any action, they will be opted in for everything.  If the Town decides to opt-out, there will be an opportunity to opt back in but if they opt in, they will NOT be able to subsequently opt out.

 

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that chip sealing of the roads had been completed and that all catch basins in Town have been cleaned.  His department is working on a road survey for the whole Town, compiling a 5-year plan for road work.  They will also be cutting and trimming on the sides of roads. Patching and repair of roads will begin in 2 weeks.

Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum announced that the ramp leading up to the door outside the community room will be closed for approximately 2 weeks while it is repaired.  This work will mark the end of the ADA project at Town Hall.

Supervisior Update:
Supervisor English reported the following:

  • The Tuxedo Farms LDC will meet in person on July 22 at 10 am.  The meeting will take place at Town Hall.  Dillon Norris of the Related Company will provide a complete and full update on the sewer plant  which will include a detailed schedule for the opening of the plant.  Property owners and residents in the Hamlet Sewer District are encouraged to attend.
  • Four operators from The Watchtower have begun their one month commitment of screening and separating debris materials at the highway garage property.  This is being done under strict observance of the DEC.  The Supervisor, along with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum, is investigating “various avenues to transfer the materials to a site that is determined to be of approved beneficial use.”  The Supervisor stated that his goal is to restore the property to a “usable state that is compatible with the vital watershed/wetland area located in the heart of Sterling Forest.”
  • The Police Reform Initiative Committee has completed its report.  The final version is available on the Town website.  The Board scheduled a public hearing on the report for the next Town Board meeting on July 26 at 7:00 pm. 
  • The Town Board held interviews on July 7 for a full-time police officer and a Dog/Animal Control Officer.  They have since made two offers and are waiting to hear if they will be accepted. 
  • The Annual Youth Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday July 17 at the Watchtower Fire Pond on Long Meadow Rd.  Kids 15 and under are allowed to participate.
  • Tuxedo Silver Dollars Annual Summer BBQ will take place at Murphy Field on Friday, July 23 4:00-7:00 for ages 50+.
  • Tuxedo Summer Day camp began last week with more than 50 kids and is going well.
  • Finally, he acknowledged the death of Laurel Ridge resident Vincent Capozzi on July 3.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember May reported that an application for the Opt-In Recovery Act has been submitted.  Some things the money could be used for would be sewer, water, infrastructure and mental health initiatives. 

Minutes:
The minutes for the Town Board meeting on June 28 were unanimously approved.

Vouchers:
The vouchers were unanimously approved

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola commented that because of the road construction on Route 17, cars are “flying into Town” and speeding through the Hamlet.  He wondered if the Town could install one of the signs that register the speeds that people are going.  It was pointed out that those signs cost approximately $4000.  Many people agreed that the speeding is a problem.  Mary Graetzer wondered if there was any legitimate reason why the police were no longer enforcing our speed limits. 
Dale Mottola wondered where exactly people would be allowed to smoke cannabis.  She was told it would be allowed anywhere one is allowed to smoke cigarettes.
There was a discussion, with no resolution, about what residents could do since the garbage company will no longer recycle glass. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 12, 2021

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting July 7, 2021

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Town Board Meeting June 28, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 7:00 pm both in person in Town Hall and via WebEx.  Councilmember McMillen was absent.

Public Hearing – Moratorium on Development Approvals:
It was explained that the Board is in the process of revising the zoning laws to correspond with the new Master Plan.  They are almost done and hope to present the plan at a Town Board meeting in the near future.  In the meantime, any proposals for building or development will need to be checked in order to make sure  that they conform to both the present and future zoning codes.   
The public hearing was closed and the Board unanimously passed a motion extending the moratorium.

Presentation:
Town Attorney Marissa Weiss presented information on the pending Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. 
 
To see a PowerPoint presentation of her talk, click here.
Municipalities can pass a law to opt out of either  retail dispensaries or “on premise consumption sites” or both but the legislation to do so must be passed by December 31, 2021.  After that date, there will be no opting out.  A municipality can, however, always opt in.  Municipalities will only share in the tax revenue if they have opted in. 

Following the presentation, the Board passed a motion asking Town Attorney Weiss to draft an opt out law for them to consider at their next meeting. 

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department is almost finished their chip sealing work and has moved on to cleaning catch basins.  There is mulch, leaf compost and chipstone available to residents at Quarry Field.  He also commented that screening on the dirt pile is about to resume with the help of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 
Police Chief Abbott began his report by stating that the Police Reinvention Committee will meet on June 29 at the Eagle Valley Firehouse to give a presentation of their report.  A video of the meeting will be available via the Town’s You Tube Channel the next day.  The Chief also reported that since covid restrictions have been lifted, the police have been doing a lot of training.  Thus far, they have completed the annual firearms training, de-escalation training from Orange County and NYS sexual harassment training (provided by Supervisor English).
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum announced that Town Hall will be closed on Monday July 5th in observance of Independence Day.  She is in communication with the garbage company to check their schedule for that week and will communicate that via her email list as well as posting on the Town website.  Finally she announced that the Tuxedo Silver Dollars will be holding their annual Barbeque at Murphy Field on July 27.

Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English began his report by announcing the death of retired Police Chief Patrick Welsh.  He expressed his condolences to Chief Welsh’s  family and friends.  Next, he gave an account of the recent meeting of the Town’s Sewer LDC at which he spoke about the need to replace the Town’s aging sewer plant with the new plant built by Related which is intended to service Tuxedo Farms as well as the Hamlet area of Town. He introduced Related Executive Vice President Gregory Gushee who is now overseeing the Tuxedo Farms project.  He stated that Related will work with the Town to finish the connection to the new sewage treatment plant. He further stated that it is  Related’s intention to complete the work and get the plant activated this year.   On June 25, the Supervisor toured the new plant with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum, Town Engineer Sean Hoffman and 3 representatives of the NYC Comptroller’s Office as well as Gregory Gushee and Henry Haeffner from Related.  Finally, Supervisor English announced that the Town Board was actively looking for a full-time police officer.
Councilmember May reporrted that she and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay have been looking at the Corona Virus Fiscal Recovery Fund to plan for whatever funds the Town may receive. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that he has been working with Town Planner Bonnie Franson and Town Attorney Howard Protter to finalize the draft of a new zoning law.  He hopes to introduce the law at the next Town Board meeting and hold a public hearing at the first meeting in August. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay thanked all who supported the recent Plein Air Event and declared the event a huge success.  She announced that July 10 will be the next work day at the pollinator meadow.  If anyone is interested in joining the group working on this, they should email tuxedobutterflies@gmail.com.

The minutes for the June 14 Town Board meeting were accepted.

Vouchers were approved. 

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola asked when the sewer plant would be operational.  He was told that there remains 8-10 weeks worth of work to be done and that the hope is that the plant will be open by the end of the year.
Someone in the chat (unidentified) asked if there was any news about the summer camp.  Supervisor English responded that the camp has over 50 children registered and will begin on July 7.  There is still room for a few more so if anyone is interested, they should contact Claire Dougher right away. 
Deirdre Murphy stated that on June 3, the State Highway Department posted a speed limit sign of 55 mph on Long Meadow Road.  People in the Woodlands are very upset and feel that it is very hazardous for them turning in and out of the Woodlands.  She wonders how they can get the speed limit reduced.  The Supervisor said he was working on it.  Councilmember Reichgott recommended sending the police out to patrol there on weekends. 

Other Business:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay introduced a motion to send out the RFP for the solar roof on the highway department and it was passed unanimously. 
Councilmember Reichgott announced that a joint public hearing with the Village of Tuxedo Park on the proposed annexation of Rattlesnake Mountain into Tuxedo Park is needed.  The Board discussed possible dates and came up with July 9 or 23.  Councilmember Reichgott will now communicate this to the Village Board.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:14 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 28, 2021

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Public hearing for "Moretorium on Development Approvals"

Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act Information Session

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Town Board Meeting June 14, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, June 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm via WebEx.  All members were present. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to approve form of Petition for the Proposition to Increase Town Board Budgetary Allocation for the Tuxedo Park Library – This is an annual request which allows the Library to circulate their petition to the public.  It was approved unanimously.
  2. Petition of relief from Building Moratorium – Vishal Taneja (Gulf Station) – This is a minor modification to the approved plan.  It adds office space for the business.  It was approved unanimously.
  3. Petition of relief from the Building Moratorium – Estate of James Von Helms (Tuxedo Auto Body) -   The property was in violation of the zoning code because they never got a site plan approval for their business.  They were in the process of getting that approval when the owner got sick and subsequently died.  Now the heir of the property is hoping to move the process along and get the approval so she can sell the property.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  4. Authorize approval of Tri-State Solar – The Town Board has determined that they need to move this toward a formal RFP instead of an approval so the item was changed from approval to discussion.  This proposal is to handle the electrical needs of the Highway Department.  The Board ultimately made a resolution to authorize the attorneys to prepare an RFP.  It was passed unanimously. 
  5. Authorize Town Attorneys to prepare a law for the Board’s consideration to opt-out of allowing Marijuana Businesses in the Community and to authorize a Referendum on the proposed law If Towns want to opt out of allowing licensing and establishing cannabis retail dispensaries and/or cannabis on-site consumption establishments within the Town, they must do it before the end of the year.  If they choose to opt out now, they can always opt back in later.  The Board would like this decision to be made by residents and further to get it made into a referendum on the November ballot.  Ultimately, the Board decided to hold a public information session on this topic at the beginning of the Town Board meeting on June 28 in order to receive input from the public.
  6. Report from Planning Board Chair, John Banyo on the Watchtower project – There is an application in front of the Planning Board for a clearing, filling and grading permit for the small portion of this project which is located in the Town of Tuxedo (the Southern entrance/exit to the project).  Since the Town of Ramapo has not finished the SEQRA process, the Planning Board was unable to vote on the permit.  Originally, the Planning Board was concerned about this entrance/exit because it was off-set from Eagle Valley Road but recently, Watchtower has reached an agreement to align it with Eagle Valley Road which the Planning Board considers a good thing.  Ramapo is the lead agency for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project while the Tuxedo Planning Board is a “concerned agency.” They will be registering two major areas of concern which are 1-traffic, specifically the need for further traffic studies (the first ones were done during the pandemic) to determine if a turning lane or traffic light is needed at the intersection with Eagle Valley Rd. and 2-noise, specifically the jackhammers breaking up rock and the incessant back up bells during the work.  They are wondering if it would be possible to limit the hours of that kind of work.  

Minutes were accepted unanimously.

Department Updates:
Supervisor English announced:

  1. The Tuxedo Farms LDC will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 24 at 10 am via WebEX. He cautioned that anyone whose property is on the Hamlet Sewer System is advised to attend. 
  2. Registration for the Town’s camp is going very well, and will close on Friday June 18.  Anyone who is interested should contact Recreation Coordinator. Claire Dougher.
  3. The Renaissance Faire has contacted the Town to say they will open this year on Saturdays and Sundays (and Labor Day) between August 21 and October 3. 
  4. The Town Board is in the final stages of reviewing and updating the Zoning Code and are committed to getting this finished this summer.
  5. Police contract – a new contract for 5 years has been ratified.  The changes will be explained at an upcoming meeting. 
  6. Police Reinvention Committee – the Supervisor gave a brief review of all the work that has been done by this committee.

Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that she had gone back to the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) and received approval to improve the ramp to the back door of Town Hall.  She reminded everyone that there will be a public hearing on June 17 (7 pm via WebEx) at which the public can submit ideas for future grants. Because of Tuxedo’s median income, the Town will only qualify for senior citizen improvements from these grants. She also reminded everyone that the Plein Air Events are coming up this weekend. Painting starts on Wednesday and the reception for artists and public will be held at the Train Station on Friday with wine & cheese and catering by Heather Bullard. 
Councilmember McMillen commented that he is still working on the lack of commercial broadband on Contractor’s Row.  As such Optimum will be in town to take a site survey of the area.  They have discussed running lines under the railroad tracks but have suggested that this would be difficult because there aren’t enough customers available to make it financially viable for them.  Their parent company, Altice, has developed a new modem which works off of one’s cellular provider.  Although this isn’t as fast as people might want, it will be a lot faster than the dial up connections which are all those businesses have had. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department will start chipsealing on Wednesday June 17. Work will start in Eagle Valley and progress over to Clinton Woods.  All the roads west of Rte. 17 in the Hamlet will be done.  After that work has been completed, patching and repair will start on the other roads in Town.   Mulch, compost and stone are available and in the bins at Quarry Field.  There is a large pile of stone in the middle of the driveway which is for work on the roads so residents should be careful to only take material from the bins.  Work on the mulch pile is progressing.

Vouchers were approved unanimously.

Public Comments:
There were none.

The meeting wad adjourned at 9:10.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 14, 2021

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Notice of Public Hearing June 17, 2021

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Town Board Meeting May 24, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, May 24, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Public Hearings:
The meeting began with two public hearings.   The Board is proposing to add categories of fees to the Town Code which will cover what happens if a resident has done construction on his property without applying for or receiving a permit.  Town Attorney Howard Protter explained that the purpose of the hearings was to receive public comments regarding the establishment of a schedule of fees as well as civil penalties Once the categories have been added to the code, the Board can set fees by resolution. 
The Board in receipt of an email from a resident containing, 3 questions.  Town Attorney Protter read the questions into the record and answered them as follows:

  1. Who is the sponsor of this law?

A: No one is the sponsor.  Laws are made by following municipal home rule law and that does not provide for a sponsor. 

  1. What is the intended purpose of this law?

A: The law will add some new categories for fees to the code as well as additional categories to the existing list of civil penalties in the code. 

  1. Why does the Town feel that the current remedies (stop work order and as-built penalty) are insufficient? 

A: The as-built penalty does not exist yet but once it has been enacted, the Board hopes that it will be sufficient.
John McNamara commented that it seemed to him as though the Town was making it harder for residents to fix up their houses and he doesn’t feel that this is the appropriate time to be adding new fees. 
Councilmember McMillen responded that the law had come into existence because the Building Inspector had brought to the Board’s  attention the fact that there were many properties in Town where the property owner had neverapplied for any kind of permit before doing work to their residence or place of business. When these parcels change hands due to a sale, the mortgage company looks for permits for work done. Councilmember Reichgott added that he understands that the Building Inspector has been going out to inspect properties and when he gets there, no one is home or the work isn’t finished and he has to return at another time. 
Councilmember McMillan added that the Town is not looking to make additional revenue, but this is cost recovery for work done by the Building Inspector.  Mr. McNamara responded that he hoped the Town would give the Building Inspector some discretion to forego the fees when and if an honest mistake has been made and it is obvious that the property owner is trying to do the right thing. 
There were no further comments and the public hearings were closed.  Both laws (schedule of fees and civil penalties) were then voted on and passed unanimously.  The laws can be found on the Town website at:  https://www.tuxedogov.org/town-board/pages/proposed-local-laws

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:
Surplus Police Department and Highway Department Equipment and vehicles – The police have 3 vehicles and the highway department has a truck, 4 generators and a snow thrower, none of which are in good working order.  All of these will be put out to bid.  This was passed unanimously.
NY/NJ Trail Conference Race Permit Approval – The NY/NJ Trail conference is seeking permission to hold a trail race on Saturday, July 31.  The race would start and end in Powerhouse Park.  A large majority of the race will take place in Harriman Park.  All entrants will be preregistered. The Board approved the application unanimously. 

Minutes  - were unanimously approved.

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that there is mulch and compost available at Quarry Field and before long, topsoil will also be available.  The highway crew is working on crack sealing in the Hamlet and preparation for the Memorial Day parade.  Aside from that, they are maintaining town properties.  The department is gearing up for the second round of screening of mulch pile materials starting on June 15.
Lastly, Superintendent Dollbaum noted that Former Highway Superintendent and lifelong Tuxedo resident Charlie Jones had passed away on May 22.   Supervisor English led Board in a moment of silence. 
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum stated that for the Primary Election on June 22, all residents from all election districts will vote in Town Hall.  Anyone seeking an absentee ballot can get the application from Town Hall (or the Board of Elections) and then mail it in to the Board of Elections in Goshen, 
She also announced that the following week garbage would be collected on a holiday schedule on Tuesday and Friday. 

Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English reported that as part of the police reinvention movement, he had attended a meeting at the Emergency Department in Goshen to learn about the bola wrap, which is a non -lethal restraining device for use by police departments.  He also reported having had  meetings with Planning Board Chair John Banyo about the proposed secondary entrance to the new Watchtower project (mostly in Rockland County but a small portion is in Tuxedo).  He then introduced Claire Dougher, newly appointed Recreation Coordinator who gave a brief update on Summer Camp.  A successful meeting with prospective parents of campers was held virtually on Wednesday, May 19.  Claire has  hired Jhanya Squires to be the Recreation Leader and Morgan Honor to be the Health Director.  Plans are for the campers to go the Highlands Natural Pool in Ringwood 2 days a week and spend the rest of the time at Murphy Field.  The program will run Monday through Thursday beginning on July 7 and ending on August 12 and will include STEAM activities. Claire is currently interviewing counselors and CITs. The target attendance for this summer will be 60 children with a maximum of 70 children.  Parents are encouraged to register their children.  Registration must be complete by June 11. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reminded everyone about the Plein Air Event which will take place June 16-18.  She added that they had been getting a great response from artists.  Next, she proposed June 28 at 6 pm for the public hearing on the annexation of Rattlesnake Mountain Preserve into the Town from the Village of Tuxedo Park. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that he has been working with Town Planner Bonny Franson on tweaking the language in the upcoming zoning amendments.  He also commented that it’s looking like Verizon is considering  siting cell towers along the Thruway rather than in the lot across from the Eagle Valley Firehouse or at Lucky Park.
Councilmember McMillen reported that he had a phone conversation with someone from Optimum about getting broadband/internet service for the properties on Contractor’s Road.  Optimum said they had not originally planned service for this area because of the restrictions surrounding the overhead wires over the railroad tracks.  However, they have now agreed to look into pneumatic “gophering” underneath the railroad tracks.  Councilmember McMillen will continue to pursue this issue with Optimum as he feels it is important for an area of Town that is zoned commercial to have this service available.  He would also like to see additional options available for all the residents of Town and will look into it as Comcast already has some infrastructure in place in the building across from the former Chase bank and the franchise agreement with Optimum might be coming up soon!

 Vouchers were unanimously approved.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David commented that she had already heard that the tri-State area is expecting some rather severe storms over the summer and noted that there are some big branches blocking the Ramapo River .  She asked if something could be done to remove them.  Supervisor English said he would look into this. 
Irene DeNaro remarked that it was a pleasure to see the Town Board working hard together instead of against each other.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:03.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 24, 2021

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Town Board Meeting May 10, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present. 

Department Head Updates:
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reminded everyone that she and the Tuxedo Park Library are collecting used eyeglasses to be donated to the Lion’s Club.  The collection will end on May 18.  She also reported having received an application from the NY/NJ Trail Conference for a race to be held on July 30 (set up) and 7/31 (actual race).  They have requested permission to use Powerhouse Park where preregistered racers will meet and then start the race which will take place on the trails of Harriman State Park.  It would be a non-spectator event. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that mulch, compost and gravel are available for residents in Quarry Field.  He advised that the mulch is very hot.  The Highway Department has started crack sealing in Eagle Valley.  This process will be followed by chip sealing.  Once work has been completed in Eagle Valley, the Department will begin working in the downtown area (East Village, the  Nursery, Library Road, Store Road, the Circle) 
The Superintendent stated that dirt pile remediation will recommence on June 15. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:
   1-Approval of Tuxedo Farmer’s Market sign permit – This is an annual request and it was approved unanimously.  The first day of the market will be June 12. 

Discussion Items:
Proposed new category of fees for Building Department – Town Attorney Howard Protter explained the process.  The goal is to add to the Town code an approved list of fees for permits and/or actions taken by the Building Department.  The first step is to amend the law to add new categories such as  re-inspections (if the Building Inspector has to visit more than once) and permits issued after work has been completed.  The second step will be to establish fees.  There will be a public hearing on the proposed law at the next Town Board meeting (May 24). 
The Board is proposing to add to the fees section of the local law a section on re-inspections which will add fees each time the Building Inspector must visit a site more than once.  They are also adding a section on “As Built Permits” which covers the situation when the work has already been completed at the time a permit is applied for.  The fees for re-inspections or as builts will be set in a resolution entitled Civil Penalties.  The civil penalty fee work completed without a permit will be $500 with no criminality.  The fee for an actual as built permit (needed after the fact) will be $1000 for residential properties and $2000 for commercial properties. The application fee for an as built certificate of occupancy will be $500. In addition, the fee for storage tank inspection after the fact will be $500 (both commercial and residential) and the fee for septic tank inspection after the fact will also be $500.  Fire inspection fees after the fact will be $1000.  The fees will be in addition to what the permit would have cost had it been applied for before construction.  The fees will be set by resolution of the Town Board as opposed to a law and cannot be set until after the law is passed. 

Tentative Police Contract
Supervisor English announced that he had received a ratified police contract earlier in the day.  The union has agreed to a 5 year deal rather than the usual 1 year agreement.  The goal for the police is to be able to “bring back the A line (midnight shift) sometime in the near future.  In order to afford this, the Town will be treating new hires slightly differently in terms of their benefits.  Step increases will go from 6 years to 10 years.  Henceforth, medical benefits for retirees will begin after 20 years not 12.  These changes will make hiring 2 additional officers possible. 
The ratification was approved unanimously.
Proposed Exterior Lighting Local Law discussion was tabled because the law needs further work. 

Minutes  for April 12 and 19 were approved unanimously.

Vouchers  were approved unanimously.

 

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English introduced his new Secretary, Loraine (Lori) Cosgrove.  She comes from Warwick and was most recently office manager and administrative assistant for the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Lori started on May 3.   Recreation Coordinator, Claire Dougher, also started on May 3. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported on the upcoming Plein Air event noting that they have received registrations from 15 artists and are hoping for 25.  Details about the event can be found on the Town website.  Presale for compost bins is on-going.  The bins are to be picked up on June 12 at the Farmer’s Market when a master farmer from the Cornell Cooperative Extension will be present to talk about how to use them properly. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that the bears are out and they’re hungry! They aren’t particularly afraid of humans unfortunately. 
Councilperson May introduced Sue Scher who said that all the subcommittees from the Police Reinvention Committee have met and shared progress and recommendations.  They are currently writing up their findings and recommendations.  A subgroup will consolidate all this information into a draft report and develop a power point presentation which will presented at a citizen’s meeting.  (possibly the 3rd week in June.)

Public Comments:
Evelyn David wondered when the next “climate meeting” would take place.  She was told the meeting will be held via WebEx on June 7 at 5:30.

Deputy Supervisor Lindsay then called an Executive Session to receive advice from Counsel.  Supervisor English abstained on this motion and the rest of the Board and Attorney Protter went into a break out room.  When they came out, they said the session was to discuss “the employment of persons” and they had no action to take.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:38.

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshops May 3 &15, 2021

Notice of Public Hearings May 25, 2021

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 10, 2021

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshops May 3 &15, 2021

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Town Board Meeting April 26, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, April 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present. 

Supervisor/Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English began by reporting that he has been in communication with various people at the Renaissance Faire.  At this time, there is no date set for reopening, but they expect to have a season this year and are keeping an eye on what is happening with Covid restrictions and regulations  in New York state.   Moving on to the Recreation Coordinator search, the Supervisor reported that  the Town Board had unanimously decided to nominate Tuxedo resident Claire Dougher for this position.  As such, her name and application have been submitted to the Orange County Human Resources Department and Civil Service.  The Town has not received a decision from either of these departments yet, but they expect to do so very soon.  The Supervisor has also been checking in with consultant HES who is working on an analysis at the Highway Department property but to date, a report has not been issued.  Additionally, the Supervisor spoke with Assessor Jim Davies to see whether he had heard anything about the Beckman Associates report on the assessment of parklands which was sent to the State, but nothing has been received as yet.  The Supervisor regards this as a good sign. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported on Earth Day activities and in particular the webinar organized by the Climate Smart Community Task Force and given by Marisa Kellerhouse from garbage contractor IWS.  The biggest take away from the presentation was that just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean that our service will take it away and recycle it. In particular, residents should NOT put glass in their recycle bins or everything will end up in the landfill at a higher cost to the Town. This coming Wednesday, April 28, at 7pm there will be a second webinar presentation on climate science and solutions.    Additionally, on the first day of the Farmer’s Market (June12), the Task Force will be offering preorders of composter bins and water barrels for home gardening usage.  A Master Gardener from the Cornell Cooperative Extension will be present to educate people about the correct way to use them.  The Climate Smart committee is working toward climate smart certification for the Town.  Some of the projects to accomplish this will include benchmarking the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions, LED streetlight conversion, solar roof on the highway department, community choice aggregation, community solar and a natural resource inventory (already completed as part of the Comprehensive Plan). The Deputy Supervisor reminded everyone about the Plein Air Event which will take place at the Train Station from June 18 to June 20. In closing she turned to the issue of the summer camp, commenting “I urge residents to learn the facts about how hard we are working to bring the summer camp and rather than falling for misinformation that’s being spread, I just wish they would come to the Town Board meetings, hear what we have to do, how hard we’re working and it’s not something to sow division in the Town over…a summer camp for our children.”
On the topic of Earth Day, Councilmember McMillen commented that, he has been very distressed about the amount of garbage along the Route 17 corridor.  He organized some of his friends and they picked up over 45 bags worth of garbage but there is still a lot remaining including a broken down billboard which still sits on the side of the road!  He added that he understands the Town used to organize a community cleanup event, which probably isn’t possible due to Covid but wishes something could be done.  He feels that the State DOT should bear some responsibility for this but recognizes that no one has had much luck obtaining help from them.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that personnel at the DOT seemed to change somewhat frequently and perhaps it was time to try to talk to them again.  Councilmember May said she had recently spoken to someone there in regard to Route 17 construction who had been very helpful and she offered to give Councilmember McMillen his contact information.  Supervisor English interjected that he had a complaint from a resident at the Promenade about garbage being strewn by bears on the steep hill between their property and the Circle. The Supervisor spoke with someone at the Promenade and discovered that the property belongs to residents below but when he went to check it out, he discovered that staff from the Promenade, recognizing that it was probably largely their garbage had already cleaned it up! 
Councilmember May reported that the Police Reinvention Committees are coming to a close.  Chairperson Sue Scher said she had sent out a Doodle poll to ascertain everyone’s availability for a final meeting. The four subcommittees will meet together with residents and then the Town Board.

 

Department Reports:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his crew is set to begin  crack sealing and roadwork.   They have mulched everything in Town and cleaned up in front of the Train Station.  He has been receiving complaints about hikers parking in the East Village, utilizing resident’s driveways or blocking them as well as parking all around the Grove.   At the Highway Department, the rock separation which is an ongoing activity, is moving along nicely. Mulch and compost are available at Quarry Field for residents and the Department will continue to fill the bins as they are depleted.  (There is no soil being offered at the moment.)  Superintendent Dollbaum looked into rehabilitation of the tennis court at Tichy Field and discovered it would be quite expensive.  He will pass the quote on to the Board.  He reported having quite a surplus of salt after the winter and would like to discuss this with the Board as he will have to put in his order for next year’s salt by the end of the week.  Councilmember May wondered if some kind of refuse bins could be placed in Powerhouse Park to collect garbage from hikers returning from the woods.  There ensued a discussion about whether or not the Town wanted to have bins which would attract bears and might also be used by people driving up and down Route 17.  Former Clerk Donna Matthew pointed out that there were 2 cans in the fisherman’s parking lot and the Board considered the idea of putting more cans at Powerhouse and at trailheads. 
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that the recycling seminar from Earth Day will be posted on the Town’s You Tube channel. She has reached out to IWS about providing stickers for recycling cans.
Additionally, she reported that resources for veterans and seniors have been added to the Town website. 
With regard to parking issues in the East Village, Police Lieutenant Norton commented that Grove Drive is the only street that has a parking restriction in the Town Code.  Since there is nothing in the code for any other streets, he feels this needs to be addressed.  He also reported that the department has lost a patrol car due to a blown engine and that they will be purchasing a new one to replace it via state bids. 

There were no discussions listed on the agenda, but Deputy Supervisor Lindsay said that a priority for the next meeting would be setting up projects to be funded by federal covid funds.  This will involve finding out what types of projects are permitted  and the Deputy Supervisor has discovered that there will be an upcoming webinar from the Association of Towns on 5/19 and 5/20 which addresses exactly this subject. 

Vouchers were approved.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David wondered if the stickers for recycling cans could be made available at the Library and Post Office as well as Town Hall.  She was told the Board would reach out to the Library and Post Office to see if they would be agreeable to having stickers there for residents to pick up. 
Rob Dollbaum commented that the properties along Contractor’s Road have never been equipped with cable and that all the businesses there want it so that they can upgrade their internet connections from dial up.  Apparently, Cablevision is balking at installing it.  Councilmember McMillen volunteered to take this on. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting April 26, 2021

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Special Town Board Meeting April 19, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm.  All members were present. 

The first part of the meeting was a workshop on the zoning code.  After a short break, the Board moved on to Agenda Items.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to appoint Office and Recreation Coordinator – The Board appointed Claire Dougher to this position.  The appointment was approved unanimously.
  2. Resolution to appoint Secretary to Supervisor – The Board appointed Lorraine Cosgrove to this position.  The appointment was approved unanimously.

Other Business:
Tuxedo Art Event:
The budget for the Plein Air Event now scheduled for June 16-June 20 was presented.  Briefly, it was explained that the expenses for this event are estimated to be $5,250.   The income will be comprised of money from a grant which the Library got ($1,000), Registration fees from artists (estimated at $500) Sponsorships estimated at $1000, commissions from sale of paintings (estimated at $250).  The Town also has access to money from a grant received last year for tourism which was never used.  They plan to use  $2500 of the $5000 grant total to close the gap between expenses and Income.

The meeting adjourned into an Executive Session to discuss employment practices and compliance. 

 

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting April 19, 2021

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Town Board Meeting April 12, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present. 

The meeting began with Deputy Supervisor Lindsay announcing the following events which will take place around Earth Day:

  • A webinar for the 9th Grade Science Class at George F. Baker High and TPS 8th Grade students about recycling.  This will take place during the academic day on April 22 (Earth Day).  The webinar will be repeated at 7pm that evening via the Town’s WebEx for residents. 
  • A webinar by See Change Conversations which is a look at climate change and various solutions will be offered via WebEx on April 28 at 7 pm. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Frank Peverly formally acknowledged retiring Zoning Board member George Langberg and thanked him for his years of service.

Agenda Items:

  • 2020 Stop-DWI Intermunicipal Agreement with Orange County – This is an annual enforcement effort by the County and many of its municipalities.
  • Accept resignation of Zoning Board of Appeals member – Member George Langberg has sold his property in Town and is no longer eligible to serve on the Board.
  • Appointment of Zoning Board of Appeals member Omar Delgado who has been serving as the alternate member of the Board was appointed to the seat. 
  • Petition of relief from Building Moratorium law – Vishal Taneja – Mr. Taneja has recently taken over the building of the proposed project at the Gulf Station property from SOS Fuels.  The plan, which has been presented to the Planning Board, is the exact same plan as proposed by SOS. The petition was passed unanimously.
  • Adopt updated changes to Building Department fees – The Board reviewed changes made to the proposed fees for the Building Department.  This will be sent to the Town’s attorneys to be incorporated in a local law and the public will be invited to comment at a public hearing.

Discussion Item:
 Town Board priorities for the upcoming year.  The Supervisor and Board presented their individual priorities. 
Supervisor English stated that his priorities include:
Tuxedo Farms – getting it started
The police contract (which expired in December—due for mediation on
May 11)
The police reform initiative
The sewer plant
Cleaning up the dirt pile at the Highway Garage
Powerhouse Park
Approving the Zoning Code
Reorganization of the Recreation Department
The Highway workers contract
Climate Smart initiatives
Cell Tower placements
Train Station renovations
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay stated that some of her priorities are:
A vision for Tuxedo Development/ Realizing the vision of Tuxedo
Revision of the Zoning Code (including floating zones)
To Support revision of the Tuxedo Farms Special Permit
Tax Revitalization
Bringing the Tuxedo Farms LDC into compliance and figuring out what to do with the money there
The Economic Development Committee
The Plein Air Event in June
Asking the County for more money (another $5,000) to put toward encouraging tourism
Councilmember Reichgott stated that in his opinion completing the zoning code amendments and formally adopting them is the most important task
Councilmember McMillan agreed that the zoning is priority number one.. He added that most of the other things that had been mentioned were important but in his view many of them are static issues.  For example, he would love to see Tuxedo Farms get started but there are issues there that are beyond the Town’s control.
Councilmember May stated that she felt the most important issues needing immediate attention are:
The Recreation Department and plans
The Police contract and reinvention
Zoning
Everything else mentioned by the other members of the Board needs attention but is, in her opinion, less immediate. She believes that the climate smart stuff is important because the new federal administration seems ready to invest in infrastructure and she feels the Town needs to be ready to take advantage of that windfall.
Supervisor English summed up the discussion saying that zoning is everyone’s priority.  Also, Recreation is a priority because of timing as they are trying to get a summer program going.  In addition, the clean up of the Long Meadow Road property needs to be a priority.  Bringing the sewer plant on line is also an important goal. The Town has determined that there is no legal reason why this can’t be done by July 1.  Getting the Tuxedo Reserve project going is very important.  Andrew Dance is leaving Related and the Board is waiting to hear who his replacement will be.  They want to work with whoever it is to make things happen.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that she would like to see the upcoming zoning workshop (Monday, April 19) be the last of its kind and hopes they can set a date for a public hearing.
Town Attorney Protter interjected that he will need all of the comments and proposed changes forwarded to him so that he can put together a law for the public hearing.  He will need some turnaround time to accomplish this.  He asked that the Board forward everything they have currently completed so he can get started on putting the law together. 

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor English reiterated several things that he has been working on mentioning the Recreation reorganization, the Superintendent’s Secretary Search, the LDC meeting, the DEC Long Meadow Road cleanup project, the Sewer Plant, police reinvention and reform initiative and a solar project for the highway garage.
Councilmember May thanked everyone who’s been working on the police reinvention and reform initiative.  They are working toward a public report in May.   Deputy Supervisor Lindsay agreed saying that the committee she’s been working on is doing great work and they hope to have something to present soon. 
Councilmember Reichgott stated that there was nothing new to report on the search for possible cell towers near the Thruway, however another consultant, who is also working with Verizon, is now looking into locating a tower in the Eagle Valley area possibly near the Firehouse. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay made a motion that the Town pay the firm Iclei $300 for the software to help with the climate smart initiative.  It will be shared with the Village of Tuxedo Park who is also part of the Climate Smart Committee.  It was passed unanimously.

Department Updates:
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that it is now fishing season and if anyone needs a license, they should come into her office. She also has updated Fishing Guides from the DEC.  Additionally, she reported that together with the Tuxedo Park Library, she is collecting old eyeglasses both prescription and non-prescription as well as sunglasses.  They will be donated to the Lion’s Club.

The minutes were approved and the vouchers were discussed and approved.

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola asked about the progress with the Post Office parking lot.  He was told that they are still interested but all are waiting until they get the Town Center plans.

There was no other business and the meeting was adjourned at 9:44 pm.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting April 12, 2021

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Special Town Board Meeting April 5, 2021

The Town Board held a special meeting on Monday, April 5, 2021 art 6:30 pm.  All members were present.

The purpose of the meeting was to focus on the steps the Town Board is taking to fill the Recreation Coordinator position and review the research that is being done to prepare a plan for a summer camp.

Supervisor English opened the meeting by stating that the intent of the meeting was to “build background knowledge,” and that it would only last an hour as the Board had scheduled interviews for two potential Recreation Coordinators commencing at 7:30. 

A review of the 2019 camp packet ensued.

The Board was uncertain as to where the summer camp would take place and how many busses would be needed or if the school would be willing to let the Town use their busses.  They also did not know what, if any restrictions would be in place for busses or any of the potential trip destinations in terms of Covid.  They were also unsure as to whether or not the camp could legally accept campers who don’t reside in Town and/or if they do, whether the fee would be the same for both residents and non-residents. Hopefully, answers to these and many other questions will be forthcoming soon.  It was noted that once a Recreation Coordinator had been hired, that person would be responsible for hiring any and all staff.  Other staff that they will be looking for include a Recreation Leader, Camp Health Director and Recreation Aids (similar to counselors).    Councilmember McMillan commented that he hoped the Board would give great consideration to people who had previously worked at the camp.  The Board mentioned they have already had many applications for jobs and Councilmember May added that to date all of them are from people who have formerly worked at the camp.  

The meeting was adjourned promptly at 7:30. The interviews were not open to the public and were held in break out rooms.

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The Town of Tuxedo is Hiring

The Town of Tuxedo is Hiring a Secretary to the Town Supervisor, Ken English

 TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES: 

  • Produces letters, memos, reports, and other materials, some of which may be confidential; 
  • Serves as a receptionist, handles routine problems, screens and logs calls, receives visitors;
  • Opens and screens mail; answers mail independently or routes it with background data; 
  • Maintains general and confidential files including personnel records, processes invoices;
  • Office management, ordering supplies, scheduling minor building repairs, monitoring service contracts;
  • Alerts Supervisor to statutory deadlines, official commitments, actions promised or expected; 
  • Schedules and organizes arrangements for conferences and meetings; 
  • May supervise assigned clerical personnel.

The position requires independent judgment, initiative and confidentiality. The ideal candidate should have proficiency in typical office suite software (Google suite / Microsoft 365) that includes document processing, and maintenance of social media accounts. Knowledge and experience in Town government is preferred.  $32.37 per hour / 30 hours per week (1560 hours annually) for $50,497.20.

Please fill out the application and submit to townclerk@tuxedogov.org or bring to the Town Clerk's office on the 1st floor of Town Hall.  The application can be found here.

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting April 5, 2021

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Notice of Town Board Zoning Workshop March 29, 2021

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Town Board Meeting March 22, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  Councilmember May was absent.

The meeting began with a short report from Highway Superintendent Dollbaum who said he had heard from the MTA and they are planning to put in a new grade crossing in the East Village next Fall.  They are currently aiming for either September 9 or 16.  In order to do the work, they will need to shut the road down for one day (a Saturday) and will make “alternate arrangements” for people coming in and out of the East Village. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Item:
1-Extension of Building Moratorium – this is the 2nd extension of the current moratorium and it is being enacted because the Board is not ready to enact the zoning code changes called for in the current Comprehensive Plan.  The extension is for 3 months. 
Councilmember McMillen noted that the resolution stated that the original moratorium was for 6 months with 2 options to extend for 3-month periods, which adds up to a year.  He wondered how they had been able to maintain it for far longer than that?  Town Attorney Howard Protter responded that this wasn’t the first resolution that had been passed pertaining to the moratorium.  The current extension  was passed last June, but there had been several similar resolutions enacted beforehand.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay further commented that the Board hoped to start public hearings on the zoning code updates soon.  The extension was passed unanimously.

Discussion Items:

  1. Review of Building Dept. Inspection Fees- The main impetus behind this discussion was a request from Building Inspector Maikisch for the Board to update the policy on “as built” permits.  These occur when residents don’t obtain the required building permits, instead doing whatever construction they want to their houses.  Then, when they go to sell the house, they find they are legally required to have a permit for work done, so they go to the Town for said permit.  Currently, the cost for these permits is the same as the price of a regular building permit.  The Building Inspector and Town Board feel there should be a penalty fee involved so as to encourage people to get and pay for building permits at the time of.  This would make it possible for the Town to raise assessments accordingly so that the proper amount of taxes is paid.  Currently, if a project is unpermitted, there is no mechanism for reassessment and the Town is loses money in the form of taxes.  After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that Town Attorney Protter would put together draft legislation for the next meeting.  The Board is proposing that a period of amnesty be included where residents could come forward and list all the improvements done to their property without permit and not have to face a penalty.  This period would last until October 31, 2021.  After that time, if a resident requests an as built permit (in order to sell their house) there would be a fee of $1500 plus a civil penalty of $500 for a total cost of $2000.   If, however, the resident applies during the amnesty period, they would only have to pay whatever the original permit would have cost. Next, the Board went through a laundry list of other existing building fees and discussed their thoughts on what the fees should be so that the Attorney can incorporate those into the draft legislation as well.
  2. Review of draft laws for garbage and lighting regulations – The review of the garbage was motivated by multiple complaints that people have been leaving their garbage cans out for too long.  Building Inspector Maikisch suggested that the law be amended to say that cans had to be brought inside or at least away from the curb for the weekend. Councilmember McMillen wondered how this would be enforced.  The Building Inspector responded that he would start by speaking to people who were leaving cans out and/or leaving a note stating that residents were required to take cans in for the weekend.  Then, if people still left cans out, he would use “whatever power he had” to make them do it (give them a ticket, impose a fine, etc.).  Supervisor English commented that he thought the garbage law needed to be divided between residential and commercial with different rules for each.  The proposed law suggests that cans cannot be put out before 5 pm the night before a pickup and must be removed to a location not visible from the street within 12 hours of being emptied.  A long discussion ensued about what people would do if they were going away for the weekend.  Ultimately it was suggested that if people weren’t going to be home, they would need to ask a neighbor to take the cans in for them.  Also, the legislation will include language indicating that if animals spread garbage around, the home owner is responsible for cleaning it up. The penalty for not following the garbage rules would be a civil penalty.    The Board decided once the amended legislation had been drafted, there should be a public hearing so they could hear what the public had to say or might suggest. Bulk pickup will be discussed at the next meeting. People are putting out much too much garbage for bulk pickup and it looks like they are putting it out for other people. Garbage must be that which is generated by the household.  The Board also decided to wait and discuss lighting regulations at the next meeting.
  3. Update on Reorganization of the Recreation Program – as was discussed at the March 8 Town Board meeting, the Board interviewed Shari Brooks for a part-time recreation position on March 11.  The Town had worked with civil service to put together a job description and that called for the candidate to be available and on-site during camp hours. (Click here to see the job description) Since Mrs. Brooks has now taken a full-time, permanent job, she is unable to fulfill the requirement for being present during the camp day. The job has been posted on the Town website and will be posted elsewhere if there hasn’t been a hire by the end of the week.  The Board is asking parents in the community to speak up and give their input on this subject.  Councilmember McMillen commented that he feels that the work/life balance for employees of Town Hall has eroded.  He added that he hoped the Board could find a way to work with Shari and see if there might be a way to bring her in, perhaps as a consultant, so that the Town can have the advantage of her many years of experience.  The Supervisor defended the Board’s having decided to work within the rules of civil service.  Councilmember McMillen said he thought the Board needed to have a back up plan in case they didn’t get any desirable applicants.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that she had seen an article in the Times Herald Record about a camp in Port Jervis that is being sold and therefore all the people who worked there will be out of their jobs. She suggested perhaps some of them would be candidates for the Tuxedo camp. 

The public was then asked for their comments.  Sue Scher said she had 3 concerns: 1-she didn’t see any mention of the Recreation Advisory Committee in the plan for a “recreation coordinator.” 2-she feels that a Town Recreation Program needs to include activities for adults and seniors as well as children and she sees no plans for that and 3- she feels that the requirement of a high school diploma or equivalency is not enough to take on the responsibilities that being asked of the Recreation Coordinator. 

Town Supervisor/Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English reported that he had attended a Clean Energy Climate Smart Task Force meeting as well as an Orange County Task Force meeting and a Clean Energy meeting hosted by Deputy Supervisor Lindsay.  He applauded the Deputy Supervisor for doing the work to move forward with these initiatives, which could lead to funding for the Town as well as major cost-saving improvements.   He further reported that had attended a press conference and meeting with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney regarding the American Rescue Plan.  He learned that the Town of Tuxedo will receive a total of  $391,605 to be shared with the Village of Tuxedo Park.  Details on this will be coming soon. 
The Town Board had a consultation with Attorney Howard Protter on setting up a discussion with the Related Group, and specifically Andrew Dance, with the intent of reviving the Tuxedo Farms project.  It is expected that a major builder for the project will be announced soon.
The DEC has finally given permission to move ahead with the sampling process on the dirt pile at the highway garage.  
Next, Supervisor English reminded everyone that the final Police Reinvention meeting would take place on Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 via WebEx.
Finally, he announced that the Town needed to have a staff training session for all employees to formalize the procedures and process manuals.  This is being scheduled for Friday, April 2 and will be led by Labor Consultant Michael Richardson. 
Depupty Supervisor Lindsay reported that the Climate Smart Task Force was sponsoring 3 events in April:

  1. A webinar for science classes given by IWS and held during the day covering reducing, reusing and recycling.
  2. A webinar with IWS at night on recycling including an update on what’s happening within the field of recycling
  3. A webinar call See Change Conversations on April 28 which will explain the causes of climate change and the solutions we can look forward to.

She also updated the Board on the plans for the Plein Air Art and Concert events.  They are still working on getting letters out to potential sponsors.  She remarked that the June date was dependent on being able to have more than 200 people and since no one knows whether that will be permitted or what the State government will do, there will be a clause in all letters and contracts that lists an alternate date.
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum gave an update on Covid vaccinations.  These are now being given at SUNY Orange in Middletown as well as the other County sites.  Appointments can be booked through the Am I Eligible section on the County website and are readily available.   Orange County will also be  opening a “Super POD” for vaccines in Goshen and  appointments for this new location will also be available on their website.  As soon as it is up and running, she will post a link.  Finally, she reported that she had been trained in Nixle so there is now another way to consistently get important news to residents. 

The minutes for the March 8 meeting were approved.

Vouchers were approved.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David got to the meeting late and missed the report of the MTA’s plan to upgrade the railroad crossing in September.  Supervisor English gave a recap of what the Board knows so far. 
Sue Scher commented that 97 people have answered the survey on the Police Initiative. 

Other Business:
Supervisor English reiterated that the meeting for all Town employees to go over and explain the Employees manuals would be held via WebEx at 10 am on Friday, April 2nd.  All Town employees, including elected officials are expected to attend.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:12 pm

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting March 22, 2021

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting March 16, 2021

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Town Board Meeting March 8, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Reorganization of Recreation ProgramSupervisor English explained that when the Board was putting together their annual reorganization, they had discovered that it was illegal for one person to hold both the Supervisor’s Secretary and Recreation Director positions.  In order to bring these positions into compliance, the Supervisor worked with Labor Consultant Michael Richardson as well as Civil Service.  Through this process they leanred  that the position of Recreation Director position could include some clerical work, but not the Supervisor’s Secretary work. The newly defined position was offered to Shari Brooks, who had held both positions for a number of years, but the salary for the clerical part of the new position was lower than what she had been receiving for both jobs previously and ultimately she declined the offer.  She then applied for a part time Recreation Director position. The Board is committed to continuing the Town Summer Camp as well as various Recreation events throughout the year so they will be meeting with Shari to discuss the responsibilities of the job.  All members of the Board expressed support for Mrs. Brooks. 

The Supervisor further noted that as part of the General Town Reorganization, the Town would be returning to a standard work 5-day week (as opposed to the 4 days a week that workers at Town Hall have been working).  This is a requirement in order to meet New York State retirement laws.  A time clock has been installed in both the Town Hall and Police Department.  The Supervisor said that the staff has all been very cooperative.

  1. Appointment of Planning Board Member – Since it has been discovered that Planning Board Member Darren Maynard has sold his residence and moved out of state, he is no longer eligible to serve on the Planning Board.  The Town Board voted to remove Mr. Maynard from the Board after which they voted unanimously in favor of appointing Kristy Apostolides to replace him. 
  2. Approval of additional work hours for Clerk to Town Justice, Patricia Marsh – There is a real back log of work in the Town Justice department due to Covid-19 and the fact that the court was open and then closed and is now open again.  The additional hours (2 hours per week) were requested by Justice Alyse McCathern. There was some discussion as to whether or not the addition of these two hours would make Ms. Marsh eligible for benefits.  Ultimately, the motion was tabled until the next meeting while this is researched.
  3. Approval of temporary help for Town Assessor, Jim Davies – The Assessor is working hard on the assessment roll and needs some clerical help. The Board approved the request unanimously. It is a civil service position.
  4. Approval of Highway Department Employee promotions (Shane Smith – Laborer and James Klein – Motor E     quipment Operator) These promotions are at the request of the Superintendent of Highways and were approved by the Boarf unanimously.  Superintendent Dollbaum commented that the promotions were coming at a good time as there are several members of the department who will shortly be eligible for retirement and he feels it’s important that they bring new young members in now while they can learn from the veteran employees. 

The minutes for the February 22 Town Board meeting were accepted.

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English reported that he had made a site visit to the existing sewer plant with a representative of the DEC.  They found that the plant is still meeting the requirements, although it is in bad shape.  The LDC continues to meet with Related in an effort to work out a deal that will allow the new plant to open.
Next, the Supervisor reported that the Police Reform Reinvention was working hard under the supervision of Sue Scher, Councilmember May and Hallie Gaines.  They have organized into four subcommittees:

  1. Police Department Staffing Policies and Practices
  2. Racism and Justice issues
  3. Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence issues
  4. Putting together a survey for the community about what people want to see in the department

If there are any residents who would like to get involved with the initiative, they should contact Sue Scher who will align them with committee of their choice.
Finally, the Supervisor announced that the next meeting of the Tuxedo Farms LDC (oversees the new sewer plant) will take place on March 18 at 10 am.
Town Board Updates:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported on the upcoming Tuxedo Art & Music Event being planned by the P.O.R.E. committee for mid-June. There will be sponsorships available and the committee is hoping to run the events with money from these sponsorships and ticket sales and without the use of taxpayer money.
Town Board zoning workshops will be taking place on the first and third  Monday of each month.  The next one will be on March 15 at 6:30 via WebEx.  The goal is to compile all the changes to the Zoning law from the new Comprehensive Plan and then move towards public hearings. 
The Deputy Supervisor has also been working hard on the Climate Smart Committee. Some of the things that that committee is working on are Energy Code Enforcement training, a unified solar permit, and bringing Science of Climate Change and Recycling webinars to Tuxedo. 
Councilmember May reported as liaison to the Tuxedo Park Library.  The Library is working on their strategic plan, They are also developing a community survey. 
Councilmember Reichgott stated that he has been in touch with Verizon who is looking for a spot to place a celltower along the Route 17/Thruway corridor.  After receiving several inquiries from residents about the possibility of bringing Fios to Town, he discovered that in order for Verizon to offer FIOS, fiber optic cables are required. The Town does not currently have fiber optic cables and Verizon has no immediate plans to install them.

Vouchers were signed

Monthly Reports:
Justice Department reported amounts of $28,910 (Justice McCathern) and $24,612 (Justice Brown) submitted to the Town.
Police Department – Supervisor English read the Police Report, which included several incidences of mental health related issues including a suicide and a disoriented driver.  The department also assisted both the New York State Police with a baby who had stopped breathing and the Village of Tuxedo Park Police with a traffic stop.  Additionally, there were countless snow storm related incidences. 
Planning Board Chairman John Banyo gave a report on the Watchtower application proposed for the south side of Sterling Mine Road.  All but 7 acres of this project are in the Town of Ramapo.  The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board has been given the opportunity to comment on the application and as such has put concerns (about traffic and noise) into the scoping document for the project.
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported on the availability of Covid vaccines. 
Building Inspector Dave Maikisch spoke on his recommendations for adjusting the fees on as built permits in Town.  This is when work is done without a permit and discovered only when the property changes hands and needs a certificate of occupancy.  Town Attorney Howard Protter acknowledged that he had worked on a proposal for this, which has never been acted on.  He said he would check his files and report back on this at the next meeting. On another note, Supervisor English reported that the Board is still working on the outdoor lighting issue as well as garbage cans being left out for too long.

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola inquired about the consequences of improvements made to property long ago before some permit requirements were part of the law.  He was told that if the improvements were made before permits were required, then they would not be considered illegal. 
Superintendent of Highways Rob Dollbaum thanked the Board for the new Department employees.  They have been busy with tree trimming, which will continue until the end of March when road work will commence.  He also reported that good progress is being made on the rock pile at the Highway Department. 

 

Other Business:
There was none.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:43 pm.

 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting March 8, 2021

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Town Board Meeting February 22, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Supervisor Ken English began the meeting by announcing that on this day, the US had reached the “milestone” of 500,000 deaths from Covid-19.  He then paused for a moment of silence in memory of all those who have died from the disease. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Mary Graetzer asked if someone would please identify which parts of the LDC bylaws were being changed or removed.  She was told that the Board was not making any changes to the bylaws but that it had been provided just as a courtesy for background information. 

Agenda Items:

  • Reorganization of the Tuxedo Local Development Corporation – Town Attorney Howard Protter explained that this LDC was  established as part of  the Special Permit grant to Related Companies for building Tuxedo Reserve (or Tuxedo Farms).  It is separate from the one running the sewer plant.  The LDCs purpose was to fund revitalization of the Town’s Hamlet business district.  The Permit set up a Board of Directors to consist of two members of the Town Board, one member of the Planning Board, one representative from the institutional lender who is funding the loan funds and one member designated by Tuxedo Reserve.   The terms for the Directors are for one year.  The Board would like to have this become part of the annual Reorganization process.  For this year, Supervisor English has proposed making himself and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay (who will be replacing former Deputy Supervisor McMillen) as the representatives of the Town Board Directors and Planning Board Chair John Banyo (replacing Mike Reardon).  Councilmember Reichgott suggested reappointing Councilmember McMillen since he was already familiar with the work of this board and also doesn’t have as many duties and responsibilities as Deputy Supervisor Lindsay, however, when the vote was taken, the Supervisor’s proposal was unanimously approved. Following the vote, the Supervisor indicated that it was his understanding that historically Woodlands resident Frank Peverly had also served on the LDC Board, but, as Frank is not a member of either the Town Board or the Planning Board, he was unclear as to why he had been involved.  Councilmember McMillen noted that although he was uncertain as to the origin of Mr. Peverly’s involvement, none of the associated attorneys  LDC Board had ever objected to his membership on the Board.  Supervisor English reiterated that he felt they should be following the bylaws to the letter,” thus they approved the slate without the addition of Mr. Peverly. 

 
Presentation:

  • Town of Tuxedo Building Department/Code Enforcement Officer – Fire Inspection Process – Building Inspector Dave Maikisch gave a presentation detailing the various requirements associated with a fire safety inspection. He has a check-list that he abides by for each inspection in order to make sure that the structure in question is free of any potential hazards.  He has suggested that the Town consider updating their fees and it was agreed that he and The Supervisor would meet and to put together a suggested list of these updates.

Minutes -  The minutes for the Town Board meeting of February 8 were accepted unanimously.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English reported that a draft MOU (memorandum of understanding) regarding the Fire Department’s use of Quarry Field for training purposes had been submitted to Gardiner Hempel for review.  The next step will be to schedule a meeting with Mr. Hempel and the other Fire Commissioners in order to finalize the details of the MOU. 
The Supervisor also announced that the final meeting of the Tuxedo Police Reinvention Committee will be held on Wednesday, February 24 at 7 pm.  The meeting will be held via WebEx and interested residents can attend by clicking on the WebEx emoji on the Town website. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay has been working on the Climate Smart Community Task Force.  The next meeting, held jointly with the Tuxedo Park Climate Smart Committee will be on Monday, March 1 at 5:30 via WebEx.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay has identified a webinar which she thinks is interesting and informative called the Sea Change Conversation.  Since there is a charge of $300 to set up this webinar, she will be looking to the Village and the Tuxedo Park Library as well as TPS and George F. Baker High School to see if they will cosponsor this event. 
She is also looking into recycling and composting with IWS. 
Finally, the Deputy Supervisor commented that she was looking for feedback from Town Board members about the proposed Plein Air Event/Concert which had been proposed at the previous Town Board meeting.  Supervisor English responded that there was no way to know what would be happening with Covid and the associated restrictions at the time the event has been proposed, although the Plein Air Event should be Covid friendly.  As far as concerts are concerned, he feels the main focus should be on entertainment for the residents and not on selling tickets.  He thinks we should be looking into what the towns of Monroe and Greenwood Lake do with similar events.  Councilmember Reichgott commented that he wasn’t sure about spending Town funds on the event without a more detailed budget.  He believes that spending grant money on the event would be acceptable.  He also wondered if LDC money might be available.  Town Attorney Protter responded that the LDC money was only for improvements to the Hamlet business district.  Councilmember May commented that she thought it was fantastic that so many people were willing to work so hard on an event of this kind and that she felt everyone should support them.  Councilmember McMillen expressed some concern, further noting that it was hard to successfully run events at Powehouse Park without support of anyone, including the government.  He is torn. He agrees with the Supervisor in that the event should be primarily for the residents to enjoy.  He also feels that it might be appropriate for the LDC as it would benefit the Hamlet.  Councilmember Reichgott reported that consultant HES has put together a work plan for the dirt pile and it has been submitted to the DEC. 
He further reported having investigated some of the questions brought forward by concerned residents at the previous meeting regarding the recent water main break. Specifically, residents wanted to know why a boil water order had been issued when there hadn’t been one in previous breaks.  He learned that the protocol is quite involved and takes into account many different factors of the break. A boil water order is not always necessary.  He further inquired as to whether there were any plans for a complete replacement of the antiquated pipes in the system and was told that, like in most water systems, this was a complicated and very expensive proposition.  At this time, the Village Water Company has no plans for replacement, working instead on a-repair-as-required premise as most water companies do. Councilman Reichgott also reiterated that the water company is run by the Village and as such the Town Board has no control over how it is run.  Supervisor English added that if water company customers weren’t signed up for Nixle alerts or hadn’t added their email addresses to the Town Clerk’s email list (both available on the Town website) then those customers would not receive alerts.  Residents need to sign up for with these services in order to receive notifications.
Councilmember May reported that she had attended two days of the training offered by the Association of Towns.  Her focus was on grants.  She also gave great thanks to all the members of the Highway Department for the way they handled the recent snow storms. 
Councilmember McMillen spoke about Nixle, the emergency alert software utilized by the Town.  He put together a video focused on how the software is run and circulated it to all Board members.  It is his opinion that the video should also be shared with the Police Department and the Town Clerk.  Historically, Councilman McMillan has been the only one with access howeber with the last water main break, he was away for the weekend and thus didn’t get the information, which is why there was no Nixle communication.  He also residents to sign up for the alerts which is easy to do on the Town website. 
Town Attorney Protter suggested it was probably a good time to revisit the Town’s emergency management plan and to include Nixle in this plan. 

Vouchers were then approved.

Monthly Reports:
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that she had been able to attend some of the Association of Towns webinars.  The two she found most helpful were for tax collection and records management.  She also went through some of the phone numbers for residents to call for information pertaining to Covid vaccines. She provided numbers for both the NYS Vaccine Hotline (833-697-4829) and the Orange County Office of the Aging (845-615-3700).
Police Department – Lt. Norton cautioned residents to drive slowly and with caution during the snowstorms. He volunteered to speak with Orange County 911 about helping with the Nixle alerts. 
Building Inspector Maikisch noted that he had received a lot of complaints about outdoor lighting from various neighbors around Town and requested that the Board consider passing legislation regulating these lights.  Further, people not bringing their garbage cans in at a reasonable time has also been the subject of many recent complaints.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department was still tree trimming in between snow storms.   Additionally, he would like to discuss adding solar to the Highway Garage – something that was approved a few years ago, but the Town had been unable to obtain financing for it.  He feels it might be worth trying again. 
Councilmember McMillen inquired about plans for a cell tower in Lucky Park.  Councilmember Reichgott responded that he has had some contact with Verizon but there are no plans as yet. Verizon would like a site on the Route 17 corridor so Lucky Park looks good to them.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David asked for an update on the emergency plan at the Arden dam.  Councilmember Reichgott told her that there is no update as yet, but when there was it would come through the Planning Board. 
Elyse Fuller thanked everyone for following up on the water and the associated communications issues.  Next, she expressed support for the Recreation Summer Camp.  She understands that Shari Brooks is no longer working for the Town but she hopes the Board will fill the position so that the camp can continue.
Jerry Mottola inquired about the Red Apple property and code enforcement.  Building Inspector Maikisch responded that it’s a vacant building with a fence around it so it’s not endangering anyone.  Councilmember McMillen wondered why the building hadn’t been condemned.  He was told that the only thing that might have condemned it was the roof and the owners repaired that.  Town Attorney Protter pointed out that property gets condemned when it presents a hazard to the owners or occupants. This property has been secured against that.  He added that whether or not it conforms with property maintenance ordinances is something that can be looked into.  Councilmember McMillen replied that he felt the condition of the property, while it might be “safe” certainly affected the value of the properties around it.  Mr. Protter responded that this was a good point and that he would get together with the Building Inspector in an effort to determine if there was something that could be done.  The Supervisor wondered if anyone had tried having a conversation with the property owner, suggesting that he would like to try.

The meeting was then adjourned at 9:20 pm. 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting February 22, 2021

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Notice of Tuxedo Board Zoning Workshop February 15, 2021

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Town Board Meeting February 8, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

The Board went immediately into an Executive Session with labor consultant Michael Richardson to discuss the police contract.   When they returned, Supervisor Ken English outlined the tentative agreement as follows:

  • The “A Line” (11pm-7am shift) will be re-established for full overnight coverage.  New officers will be hired to fill the line and thus downplay the use of overtime.
  • A career path for new officers will be created which will increase the current path from 6 years to 10 years.
  •  “Certain negotiated changes” will be added to benefits for new officers.

The Supervisor explained that they are proposing a “tentative agreement,” which they will be presenting to the public at a later date.  Next, it needs to be re-presented to the union after which they hope to have a formal agreement.  The Board then voted on a resolution to ratify the tentative agreement and authorize the Supervisor to sign it.  It passed unanimously.

 Public Comments on Agenda Items:
 There were none

Agenda Items:

  • Police contract – see above
  • Fire District M.O.U. (Memo of Understanding) This is a proposal for an agreement for the Fire Department to be able to use Quarry Field for training exercises.  Following the Board review, the proposal will be presented to the Fire District for their approval. 
  • Board of Assessment Review, Planning and Zoning Board member appointments – The following appointments were made:

Board of Assessment Review – Ed Brennan was reappointed as Chairmen with a term from 10/1/20 – 9/30/25; Michael Witt was appointed with a term from 2/8/21-9/30/24. Additionally, terms for current members Gary Phelps and Marie Warniaha were adjusted to end on 9/30/21.
Zoning Board – Frank Peverly was reappointed as Chairman with a term of 1/1/21-12/31/25; Omar Delgado was appointed as Alternate Member with a term of 2/8/21-12/31/21.
Planning Board – William Friedlich was reappointed with a term of 1/1/21-12/31/25; Ned Kugel was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Mike Reardon with a term of 2/8/21-12/31/21.
New York State Local Retirement System Standard Work Day

Presentations:
Watchtower representative, Ted Hoffman, to propose assistance with dirt pile remediation – The Watchtower is proposing to send people to operate the machinery as it sifts through the dirt pile when this work recommences in the Spring. There was some discussion about the project, largely concerning the equipment which the Town will be providing for the work and the cleaning to be done on it and around the site due to Covid precautions. 

“Plein Air” Art and Concert Town Event Information by the P.O.R.E. Committee (Parks, Outdoor Recreation & Events), Deirdre Murphy. This will be a 3-day/2-part event which aims to attract both people and attention to Tuxedo and all it has to offer.   
The Art part of this event will be a “Plein Air” event. The Committee will   invite 20-30 artists within the Hudson Valley to come and paint at 15-20 designated sites which will be divided between 3 different themes:  landscapes, water and architecture.  The finished paintings will be exhibited in the train station and will be for sale with a 25% commission on sales going to the Town. The exhibit will be an event with prizes given to the winning artists in the different categories and all paintings for sale. 
A music concert at Powerhouse Park will follow on the next day.  The concert will feature approximately 5 local bands “with a follo“Plein Air” Art and Concert Town Event Information by the P.O.R.E. Committee (Parks, Outdoor Recreation & Events), Deirdre Murphy. This will be a 3-day/2-part event which aims to attract both people and attention to Tuxedo and all it has to offer.   
The Art part of this event will be a “Plein Air” event. The Committee will   invite 20-30 artists within the Hudson Valley to come and paint at 15-20 designated sites which will be divided between 3 different themes:  landscapes, water and architecture.  The finished paintings will be exhibited in the train station and will be for sale with a 25% commission on sales going to the Town. The exhibit will be an event with prizes given to the winning artists in the different categories and all paintings for sale. 
A music concert at Powerhouse Park will follow on the next day.  The concert will feature approximately 5 local bands “with a following” and a wide variety of food trucks. 
The budget for the proposed event is as follows:  $22,500 for the music portion of the event and $4000 for the art portion.  The income projection for the event is $15,500.  The proposal is for the Town to cover any shortfall.  Projected dates are either June, 2021 or Labor Day depending on what’s happening with Covid. 

Supervisor/Town Board Updates:
Supervisor English began his update by announcing that while working on the Reorganization document for 2021, it had been discovered that it would not be permissible under Civil Service regulations for one person to hold both the Recreation Coordinator and Supervisor’s secretary positions.  However, since the Recreation job is mostly seasonal, it would be acceptable to combine that position with some sort of clerical work.  The Supervisor offered that position to former Recreation Coodinator/Supervisor’s Secretary Shari Brooks, but she has turned the job down and has subsequently left the employ of the Town.  Supervisor English wished her well, further noting that she had done excellent work for the Town in both positions.  He added that they had not yet decided how to move forward with these positions. Next, the Supervisor announced that the annual meeting of the Tuxedo Farms LDC (sewer plant) would be held on Wednesday, Feb 17 at 10 am. Lastly, he reported that the next meeting for the police reinvention committee would take place on February 24 at 6:30pm.  Notices will be sent out. The final meeting of that committee will be on March 24. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that she has been working with Town Attorney Marissa Weiss on the Town Village Consolidation Summary and she feels they are ready to send it to the Town Board members for their review.  After the Board has reviewed the document, it will go on the Town website. Additionally, she reported that she had been working on the Climate Smart Community Task Force. Committee meetings via WebEx will commence shortly and will take place on the first Monday of the month at 5:30 pm. The Task Force can earn points via  education projects and she has found a presentation on the science of Climate Change which she believes is good.  The presenters charge $300 so she is going to reach out to the library and the school and see if anyone wants to share the cost of such an event. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that over the weekend there had been two water main breaks in the line that runs from the Village to the Hamlet.  Residents in the Hamlet are currently under a required boil water order, which will remain in place until two clean water samples have been taken.  The first test happened on February 8 and the second one is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9. They are hoping to have results back and the boil water order lifted by Wednesday, February 10.  On a related matter, the Village communicated that they have been experiencing a huge increase in flow to that line, which suggests a leak somewhere that they have not been able to locate.  If anyone sees “unusual water,” please report to either Councilmember Reichgott, Highway Superintendent Dollbaum or John Ledwith in the Village. 
Councilmember McMillen noted that the Town has a system that should be used for mass communication of important information such as this called Nixle. Residents can subscribe to it on the Town website.  He proposed that they give the Village access/permission to use Nixle in order to better facilitate  announcements like this out to the public.  The Supervisor said he would look into it. 

Next, the vouchers were signed. 

Monthly Reports:
Claire Squillini, reporting for the Justice Department, noted that they had acquired  4 new computers last month and also that the online credit card payments were going well.  The Department will be starting virtual calendars in March. 
The Police Dept.  did not have anyone on the call but Supervisor English reviewed a few of the details from their submitted report.  It was noted that there were more than usual incidents having to do with mental health issues again.  This has seemed to be happening more as the period of Covid lengthens.  Our police assisted several other departments including Sloatsburg and Warwick.
Highway Dept. - Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department had been working on snow, snow and with more snow and with more in the forecast expected to be doing so for the foreseeable future.
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum commented that she would be more than happy to help anyone get signed up for Nixle.  She further stated she had noticed that there were vaccinations available in Westchester and offered any residents assistance in getting signed up. 

Public Comments:
Elyse Glover Fuller thanked the Village of Tuxedo Park DPW for taking care of the water main break as quickly as they did and also she thanked Town Clerk Dollbaum for sending out the information about the break and the subsequent boil water advisory.  She expressed great displeasure with not having been notified about the boil water advisory via Nixle or reverse 911.  She wondered why this particular break resulted in a boil water advisory as she said she’d experienced many breaks but never had to boil water before.  She wondered where this issue sat on the Town’s priority list and further suggested that the entire water system needed replacing.  Councilmember McMillen explained to her that the water system is owned, operated and maintained by the Village of Tuxedo Park and as such it is not on the Town’s priority list at all.  He added that access to Nixle is being expanded so communication should improve. 
Dale Mottola wondered what could be done to recycle glass which the Town’s operator no longer accepts.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay replied that she was looking into this and hoped the Climate Smart Initiative would help solve this problem.  Also, there were questions about whether or not IWS is actually recycling the items that people put out. 
Mrs. Mottola also asked for an update on the turning lane into The Duck Cedar Plaza.  She was told that the State DOT is still making excuses and has suggested that the owner of the property needs to pay for any work that is done.   The Board has looked to State Senator Martucci’s representative in an effort get this problem solved. 

Other Business:

  • A Resolution approving Board members’ annual training with the Association of Towns (held virtually this year) was passed unanimously.
  • A Resolution naming all Highway workers as first responders so that they will be eligible for Covid vaccines was passed unanimously. 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:20. 

 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting February 8, 2021

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Notice of Tuxedo Farms LDC Meeting February 17, 2021

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Notice of Tuxedo Board Zoning Workshops February 1 & 16, 2021

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Town Board Meeting January 25, 2021

The Town Board met on Monday, January 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

The meeting began with the Board approving vouchers. 

Town Board Updates:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay remarked that it had been a busy month of climate smart community initiative webinars which she had attended.  The next meeting of the joint Climate Smart committee with the Village will be on Monday, February 1 at 5 :30 pm via WebEx.  Instructions on how to join will be posted on the Town website. 
Councilmembers McMillen, May and Reichgott all stated they had no reports. 
Supervisor English reported that the Tuxedo Farms LDC met on January 21. The main purpose of the meeting was to have a conversation with Andrew Dance of Related Co.  The Supervisor observed that they had had a very cordial conversation and that Mr. Dance said there would be a “revised model” for Tuxedo Farms coming in the future. He added that hopefully the Town would also see a path forward to the completion of the Tuxedo wastewater treatment plant.  The next meeting of the LDC will be held on February 17 at 10am. 
Next, he disclosed that he, Deputy Supervisor Lindsay, along with Town Attorney Howard Protter and Labor Consultant Michael Richardson had been meeting with the PBA in order to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Their next meeting will be on January 26.  These meetings are not open to the public but the Supervisor English hopes they can successfully agree on terms. 

A discussion on representatives from the Watchtower assisting with dirt pile remediation was tabled.

Presentation:
1-Beckman Appraisals to give update on State Lands.  Town Assessor Jim Davies opened the conversation by commenting that the State Lands Study had been completed within the last few weeks and that the numbers were pretty much what he had expected.  They will still need to go up to the State Land Unit at the Office of Real Property in Albany to be approved.  He then introduced Mr. Beckman to give a brief update.  Mr. Beckman began by explaining that Parkland is taxable.  Appraisers looked not only at Tuxedo’s Parkland but also that in adjoining Rockland County where they found much higher valuations.  They are proposing to raise the assessment by approximately $11,000 per acre.  This would generate an additional $200,000 for the Town as well as $420,000 for the Monroe Woodbury School District and $80,000 for the Tuxedo Union Free School District.   Beckman Appraisals has moved the assessment from $72 per acre to approximately $11,000 per acre.  The Town and School Districts could see this additional money as early as September or October.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
 Camille O’Brien, who works for State Senator Mike Martucci, introduced herself and said she would be serving as a liaison for the newly elected senator when he was in Albany.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to approve request for payment from Tuxedo Place, L.P. – Town Attorney Marissa Weiss explained that the Town has a PILOT agreement with Tuxedo Place (aka the Promenade) Supervisor English asked what a PILOT agreement was and he was told it is a Payment In Lieu of Taxes.  This agreement has been in place since 1999 but the Town has not been receiving any payments. The Town has also not received income statements from the Promenade which were supposed to have been paid annually. The Town attorneys have drawn up a demand letter for the payments.  The Board unanimously agreed to send the demand.
  2. Resolution to approve the Onyx and Breezy Annual raffle – this has been an annual event for years.  It was unanimously approved.
  3. Resolution to approve refuse truck permits (Sterling Carting and Interstate Waste) – unanimously approved by the Board. 
  4. Resolution to approve Town Clerk training – this will take place virtually this year at a cost of $100 – This was unanimously approved by the Board
  5. Resolution to approve 2021 Warwick Humane Society contract – unanimously approved by the Board
  6. Petition of relief from the Building Moratorium Local Law by Itzy’s Collision Enterprises. -This was unanimously approved by the Board. The Town Board’s approval will allow the application to go to the Planning Board.

Other Business:
The following business were granted annual towing licenses in the Town:
   Loyal Tire
   Apple Automotives
   NJV Auto
   Harriman Auto
   C.A.R.S.

Department Updates:
Highway Department :
Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department was still busy with tree work.  They are currently on South Gate Road headed toward Eagle Valley.  Next, he reminded everyone that electronic recycling is still going on through the end of the month.   They are currently preparing all equipment for snow and have also been  working on the rock pile, separating rocks.   There will be a bonfire in Powerhouse Park on February 6.  The department is also flooding the basketball court at Powerhouse Park for ice skating.  Residents will be notified when it is ready.
Building Department:
Building Inspector Maikisch is still working on the cars in Southfields.  Two more cars have been removed this week.
Town Clerk:
Regrding availability of the Covid Vaccine, Marisa Dollbaum reported that while one can check to see if they are eligible for the vaccine, there are not many places nearby which have vaccine to give.  The closest ones she could find were Potsdam or Plattsburgh, both of which are about 400 miles away!
Police Department:
Lt. Norton recommended checking the NYS Department of Health website. recommended for information on vaccine availability
He cautioned that with a snowstorm approaching, everyone should take care and stay home if at all possible.
Court:
Claire Squillini reported that they had started accepting credit cards online last month and it is going very well.
Public Comments:
Irene Denaro feels that the last couple of Board meeting have brought to like how much has been neglected in the Town for so long.  She is grateful to the Supervisor and Town Board for all their hard work to bring the Town up to date.
Evelyn David asked once again about the Arden dam and their emergency plan.  It was retierated that the Town has no jurisdiction over this but the Planning Board does. 

There were no further comments and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting January 25, 2021

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Notice of Tuxedo Farms LDC Meeting - Janaury 21, 2021

Click here to view the notice

The public may view the meeting using the following WebEx link:  https://meethb.webex.com/meethb/j.php?MTID=m14425c31a798a32559eca622e83cbb13

Or listen by dialing 1-646-992-2010, Webinar ID 179 135 6007 

Please note, this WebEx link is NOT through the Town of Tuxedo’s account.

Agenda:

The primary  purpose of this meeting is to host a Local Development Corporation Board conversation with Mr. Andrew Dance, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Development, Related Hospitality, to discuss the completion and activation of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant that will serve residents in the Tuxedo Hamlet Sewer District.

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Town Board Meeting January 11, 2021

**Click here to view a video recording of this meeting**

The Town Board met on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Supervisor English began the meeting with Department Reports.  First up was Building Inspector Dave Maikisch who stated that he had been regularly visiting a property in Southfields, which has a number of cars on it.  The number of cars has been reduced to 28, down from 44, and all of them are registered.  The property owners are working to remove more of the cars.  The Building Inspector will check back in two weeks. 
Police Department – Chief Abbott reported that Officers Shiloh and Hall had received a letter of commendation from Tuxedo Park Police Chief Dave Conklin.  The officers assisted a Tuxedo Park officer who is new on the job with a difficult situation involving a mental health issue.  During the course of the hour-long incident, the officers were able to deescalate the situation and transport the person to Nyack Hospital. 
Town ClerkMarisa Dollbaum reported that the 2021 tax bills had all been mailed out. She added that if anyone had not received their bill they could call her office or visit the Town web site where a copy of their bill could be downloaded.
 Additionally, she stated that this year all training for Town employees and Board members will take place virtually instead of in person in Albany. 
Justice Department The Town courts are in suspension by Executive order.  The courts are now accepting payments by credit card. 
Highway Department – Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that the Department is currently focused on tree cutting.  They are working their way down South Gate Road to Eagle Valley Road. Next they will head up to Laurel Ridge and Clinton Woods.  They are also picking up Christmas trees and will be chipping up brush.  

The Vouchers were signed.

Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English reported that the LDC that is responsible for the sewer plant and sewer district has once again put in a request for a meeting with Related Companies.  The next meeting of that LDC will be on February 17. Next, he announced that there would be a meeting of the Police/Town Collaboration committee on January 14 at 5 pm via WebEx.  The meeting will be accessible via the Town website. The Supervisor met with Chief Abbott to discuss the agenda for this meeting which will include deescalating situations with cooperation between agencies as well as the benefits of detailed training.  The meeting will be followed by an Orange County meeting on the same subject at 6 pm.  He also reported that the Town/Village Consolidation had been formally enacted as of January 1, 2021. The Town’s website will soon be updated with all the details of what this means
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that she had been in contact with Town Attorney Marissa Weiss and that they would be meeting to put together the report on the Town Village Consolidation for the website.  Additionally, she stated that if anyone was interested in working on the Town’s Climate Smart Community Task Force, they should contact her directly.  Meetings are held on first Mondays at 5:30.  The Deputy Supervisor has also been working on various Community Development projects.  The Parks and Outdoor Recreation Committee (PORE) is working to put together a couple of events for Spring and she is also working with the Real Estate Outreach Group.  Anyone who is interested in joining either of these groups should contact her for more information.
Councilmember May acknowledged the “great work” done by Consultant Michael Richardson on updating the employment manuals for the Town.
Councilmember Reichgott stated that he has discerned that the Town has no legal jurisdiction over dams and as such as far as the Arden Dam Emergency Plan is concerned, the Town has no responsibility.  He also reported that he had been in touch with Tectonic Engineering who is working with Verizon.  They have said they are interested in improving conditions and installing new towers on the Route 17 corridor. 
Finally, Supervisor English announced that rents for the businesses on the Town owned Long Meadow Road property (Highway Department) have been increased and should bring in an additional $25,000 in revenue.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. 1-Discussion of proposals for clean up of Highway Department property-as discussed at the last meeting, the Board received two proposals for this; one from HES and another one.  The proposal from HES was more complete.  The other proposal (Taylord Environment) only covered testing.  Eventually, the Board voted to approve a contract with HES to sample up to 20 yards of material at a cost not to exceed $25,000.
  2. 2-the Town has received notice for a tax certiorari suit (from Tuxedo NY LLC) and voted in favor of hiring Town Attorneys Jacobowitz & Gubits to handle it.
  3. 3-2021 Town Reorganization.  (see below)

2021 Town Reorganization
Supervisor English announced that henceforth the Town Hall will be open 5 days a week, and made the following appointments:
 


Deputy Supervisor

Michele Lindsay

Budget Officer

Kenneth English

Secretary to Supervisor

TBA

 

Additionally, the following positions/salaries were approved:

Supervisor

Ken English

$ 37,593

12/31/21

Deputy Supervisor

Michele Lindsay

$ 12,395

12/31/23

Councilmember

David McMillen

$   7,395

12/31/21

Councilmember

Maria May

$   7,395

12/31/23

Councilmember

Jay Reichgott

$   7,395

12/31/21

Town Clerk/Tax Collector

Marisa Dollbaum

$ 60,000

12/31/21

Highway Superintendent

Robert Dollbaum

$ 95,660

12/31/23

Town Justice

Shawn Brown

$ 27,344

12/31/21

Town Justice

Alyse McCathern

$ 27,344

12/31/22

Secretary to Supervisor

TBA

$ 32.37 per hour/30 hr.wk

$ 50,497.20

Account Clerk

Brian Sullivan

$ 32.37 per hour/30 hr. wk

$ 50,497.20

 

TBA

$ 18.36 per hour/18 hr. wk

$ 17,184.96

Building Inspector

David Maikisch

$ 40.61 per hour/30 hrs. wk

$ 63,345.67

Project Coordinatlor/Bldg. Dept/Planning Board/ZBA

Deborah Villanueva

$ 32.37 per hour/35 hr.wk

$ 58,913

Highway De.$18pt. workers

 

As per CBA with union

 

Highway Dept. Clerk

Michelle Reed

$ 18.36 per hr/15 hrs.wk

$ 14,320.80

Clerk/Recreation Coordinator

TBA

$ 23.31 per hr/30 hrs.wk

$ 36,363.60

Assessor

Hugh Davies

 

$ 31,518

Police Chief

Arthur Abbott

 

$ 35,000

Police

 

As per CBA

 

Animal/Dog Control Officer

TBA

 

$  8,221

Clerk to  Town Justice

Claire Squillini

$ 29.38 per hr/35 hrs wk

$ 53,477.58

Clerk to Town Justice

Patricia Marsh

$ 23.31 per hr/28 hrs wk

$ 33,937.33

Assistant Court Clerk

Barbara Ginley

$ 20.06  wk/15 hrs wk

$ 15,649.86

Planning Board/Chairman

John Banyo

$  6,344.40

12/31/23

Planning Board/Member

Deirdre Murphy

$  2,880.48

12/31/21

Planning Board/Member

Darren Maynard

$  2,880.48

12/31/22

Planning Board/Member

Michael Reardon

$  2,880.48

12/31/23

Planning Board/Member

Chris Kasker

$  2,880.48

12/31/24

Planning Board/Member

Donald Gould

$  2,880.48

12/31/24

Planning Board/Member

William Friedlich

$  2,880.48

Term: holdover

Zoning Board of Appeals/Chalrman

Francis Peverly

$  1,744.20

Term: holdover from 2020

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Andrew Rogers

$  1,260.72

12/31/21

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

George Langberg III

$  1,260.72

12/31/23

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Marc Citron

$  1,260.72

12/31/24

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Russell Shaver

$  1,260.72

12/31/24

Board of Assessment Review/Chairman

Edward Brennan

$  1,662.60

Term: holdover from 2020

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Gary Phelps

$    577.32

Term: holdover from 2021

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Marie Warniaha

$    577.32

Term: holdover from 2021

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Edward Mattes

$    577.32

9/30/22

Board of Assessment Review/Member

James Pandise

$    577.32

9/30/22

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board

TBA

No compensation

 

Town Attorney

Jacobowitz & Gubits

As per contract

 

Town Engineer

Holzmacher, McLendon & Murrell (H2M)

As per contract

 

Town Engilneer

Fusco Engineering & Land Surveying

As per contract

 

Municipal Consultant for Workforce Planning & Labor Relations

Michael Richardson

As per contract

 

Town Auditor

Andrew Arias/Cooper Arias

As per contract

 

Planning Board Legal Counsel

Richard Golden/Burke, Miele,Golden & Noughton

As per contact

 

ZBA Legal Counsel

Richard Golden/Burke, Miele,Golden & Noughton

As per contract

 

Town Planner

Nelson Pope, Voorhis

As per contract

 

Town Historian

Town of Tuxedo Historical Society

As per contract

 

 

 



After the presentation, the Supervisor added that both the Town’s Employee Manual which sets out the rights and expectations for each employee and position and the Compensation and Benefits Manual have been rewritten under the direction of Michael Richardson. The Town will be holding a workshop for employees to discuss these manuals as all employees will be required to sign a statement saying they have received them and agree to abide by them.  The manuals will be posted on the Town website. 

Additionally, the following fees were set:


Parking Permit (Town Residents)

$178.00

Parking Permit (non Residents)

$ 228.00

Field rental for non affiliated Town group

$   50.00 per use

Train Station use for meeting

$   50.00 per use

Train Station for private party

$250.00

Public Comments:
Several audience members commented that they thought the Reorganization was very well done and congratulated the Board for all their work.
Evelyn David noted that Chase is closing their branch in Town and wondered if the Board had done anything about finding a replacement.  She was told they would have to check into what the procedure for that is. 

The Board then oted to adopt the Reorganization as presented with the caveat that it could be added to in the future. 

Budget modifications were approved and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting January 11, 2021

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting December 31, 2020

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Town Board Meeting December 28, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, December 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor English announced that the masonry repairs to the old sewer plant have now been completed along with repair of the guard rails and installation of new cyclone fencing. Additionally, he said he had sent a letter to Andrew Dance at Related asking for a meeting to continue talks about the completion and activation of the new sewer plant. 
Next, the Supervisor introduced the Tuxedo Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.  Governor Cuomo has asked all towns and cities to meet with residents and stakeholders to discuss fairness in policing.  The Supervisor commented that he has replied to this request stating that the entire Town Board was behind the idea and would be working hard to comply.  Several audience members, principally Sue Scher and Hallie Gaines spoke up in favor of the initiative and volunteered to work on it as well. 

Town Board Update:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that the DEC has announced Green
Innovation grant programs for improvements to infrastructure as well as to improve water quality and flood mitigation. She will be attending a webinar on the subject on January 13.  Grant applications are due on February 12. 
Councilmember May remarked that she had received questions and comments on the new website and had been working on those.  She vowed to continue to bring transparency to the Town through information on the website. 
Councilmember Reichgott commented that he had received some “feelers” from Verizon a while ago about whether or not the Town would be interested in updating cell service in Town.  He responded positively and has heard nothing since. He will pursue this.
Councilmember McMillen said that while he had nothing new to report, he wanted to recognize his colleagues on the Town Board for doing a great job throughout the Covid crisis and continuing business as usual in the Town. 

Discussion Item:
Long Meadow Road Cleanup -
Supervisor English stated that the Town was in receipt of a proposal from Hydro Environmental Solutions for a project to include characterizing the material on the Highway Department’s Long Meadow Road property.  Town Engineer Sean Hoffman was present and was asked for his opinion on the proposal.  He explained that this proposal was also to bore into the pile and to come up with a solution that would satisfy the DEC’s order of consent.  Councilmember Reichgott said that he felt the Town should be looking at more than one proposal for this work. The Supervisor stated that he was hoping to avoid mentioning the amount of money cited in the contract as he felt they might be looking for another bid.  Town Attorney Protter responded that this would be specialized work and thus an exception to the competitive bidding requirement.  Eventually, after a long discussion, they decided to table voting on the proposal until January.  In the meantime, they would like the proposal rewritten to include up to 20,000 cubic yards of material, (currently it specifies 6000 yards) which has already been screened by the Highway Department. 
 
Discussion of Reorganization goals with Consultant Michael Richardson –
Supervisor English introduced Mr. Richardson and then presented the goals as follows: to align the Town with civil service, to define the requirements of competitive vs. non competitive jobs, to look into pay parity for jobs with similar descriptions, and to bring the Town back to 5 days of service in Town Hall.  Mr. Richardson has submitted a proposal for the reorganization. He then presented a detailed and somewhat lengthy review of the different employment levels in Town. 

The Board scheduled a vouchers only meeting for December 31 at 9:30 am. 

Department Updates:
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum reported that the Town has been reactivated with the DEC for the issuing of hunting and fishing licenses.  Additionally, she said that the Town tax bills had been mailed out.  Residents are asked to either use the secure drop box in front of Town Hall or to mail in their checks in order to reduce traffic in Town Hall.

Agenda Items:

  1. O&R streetlight conversion program – the Board talked about different wattages (lumens) which can be used in different locations.  Also discussed were light colors and the cowls on the fixtures which focus the light downward.  6 streetlights are being offered for free.  The Town can convert up to 56 more at a cost of $355 per light. Since the price goes up every year, the Board decided to go ahead and convert all the lights now.  The total price should be $19,880.  This was approved unanimously.

The Board then entered into a previously scheduled executive session for an attorney/client conference with Town Attorney Howard Protter. This lasted approximately one hour after which they returned to the meeting.

 

  1. Petition of Relief from Moratorium Local Law – Mr. Spiegel & Sons Oil Corp. – After the Supervisor pointed out that all they would be doing was to make it possible for this project to go in front of the Planning Board…and not approving the project…the petition was approved unanimously.

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting December 28, 2020

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Town Board Meeting December 14, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, December 14 at 7:00 pm via Webex.  All members were present

The meeting opened with the annual public hearing on the Woodlands sewer rate.  There was much discussion among the Board members who did not seem to understand why they were holding the hearing since none of them reside in the Woodlands. Town Attorney Howard Protter explained to them that this is the process which has been in effect since the Woodlands was built. Since no one had a comment, the public hearing was then closed. 

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English reported that the Tuxedo Farms LDC (for the Wastewater Treatment Plant) would be holding an attorney/client meeting on December 17 with the attorneys from Harris Beech as well as attorney Howard Protter.  It is their hope that they can reestablish communication with Related and move toward the goal of opening the sewer plant by July 1, 2021. 
Next he revealed that he and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay along with Town Attorney Protter and Labor Consultant Michael Richardson met with representatives of the Tuxedo PBA on December 3.  They expect to hold another meeting by the end of the year.  Negotiations on the current contract are ongoing. 
The Supervisor also held a meeting with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and Town Engineers and Councilmember Reichgott.  It was their goal to come up with a plan for the required chemical sampling which is needed to begin removing the contaminated material from the Highway Department site on Longmeadow Rd.
The Supervisor and Councilmember Reichgott also met with two of the tenants at the Longmeadow Rd. property.   It has been determined that the rents they are paying are way under what the market rate is for such properties.  As a result, the Board has decided to raise the rents by 20%.
Supervisor English announced that the Town Justice Court has been ordered closed by NY State and all in-person activity with the public has been cancelled until further notice due to the increase in Covid cases in our area.  However, the Justice Court has initiated online payments so going forward, people will not necessarily need to come to the court in person to settle any outstanding violations.  Additionally, the Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings will continue to be held virtually via WebEx. 
Councilmember May reported that the Board had received several inquiries about the project on Route 17 between Tuxedo and Sloatsburg.  After speaking to both the DOT and O&R, she discovered that there are two projects currently being worked on in that location.  The first project is the sewer project.  The original contractor damaged the gas lines and now Orange and Rockland is working to repair them.  The “complete streets” project will commence in the spring and is expected to be completed by September, 2021.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay stated that the joint Town/Village Climate Smart Community taskforce had met on December 7.  They had a presentation on community choice aggregation and they will be getting that ready for a public meeting.
Councilmember McMillen announced the passing of former Supervisor Ted Hoffman.

Department Updates:
Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum announced that the Town of Tuxedo will soon be reactivated with the DEC so residents will be able to get hunting and fishing licenses from her.  
Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum reported that leaf pickup had ended that day.  Any future leaves will have to be put in bags in order to be picked up.  Additionally, he stated that the roof on the records room has been complete.  Finally, he reported that his department was getting ready for snow. 

Agenda Items:  

  1. Annexation Petitions of Rattlesnake Mountain Preserve LLC -This involves 2 parcels adjoining the Village of Tuxedo Park.  One parcel was discussed a while ago although no action was taken.  The second parcel adjoins the first one.  Town Attorney Protter informed the Board that next should be a joint public hearing with the Village of Tuxedo Park, however, the applicant is required to furnish the Town with forms stating that they are complying with SEQRA and those forms are not attached to the petition.  Therefore, the Town  will declare the petition incomplete, but they did adopt a resolution stating that the petitions had been received.  Councilmember Reichgott has requested a map showing exactly where the parcels are. 
  2. Old Forge snow plow contract with the Town of Warwick – this is an annual contract and it was approved.
  3. Petition for Relief of Moratorium from Spiegel &. Sons Oil Corp. this was tabled.
  4. Resolution to remove unlicensed vehicles from 1048 Route 17 in Southfields. – after several attempts by the Building Inspector to resolve the situation, many vehicles remain on this property.  The property owner’s son was present and asked for an extension of time to remove the vehicles several of which have already been removed.  The building inspector will check the property again on January 14.
  5. The moratorium on development approvals was extended for another 3 months as the Town Board is still working on the Comprehensive plan.

Public Comments:
Evelyn David inquired as to what the Town has heard about the emergency response plan from the Arden dam.  She was told that the Board hasn’t heard anything about this as yet.

The meeting was adjourned into an Executive Session so the Board could meet with consultants. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting December 14, 2020

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Town Board Meeting November 23, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  Councilperson McMillen was absent.

After approving several minutes (11/9, 11/10 and 11/17) and the vouchers, Supervisor English opened the Public Hearing on Sign Law Amendments. He read a statement from Town Attorney Marissa Weiss which stated that the purpose of the amendments was to amend the current sign law which is a part of the Town Code. The main issues are:

  • Providing clarity to definitions already in the code
  • Defining types of signs that are regulated
  • Calculation of sign area
  • Types of signs that are exempt from the permit process

There were no comments from the public regarding this law.  The Town Board had also submitted the proposed amendments to the Planning Board for review and comment.  As per Ms. Weiss, that Board is largely in support of the proposed changes.  Their only comments centered around political signs. They have suggested amending the language in the law as it pertains to how long they long these signs can up as well as their removal.  The signs are permitted 30 days in advance of an election and they must be removed 1 week after.  The Planning Board has recommended using the word “mandatory” instead of “encourages” in reference to this timeline.
Town Attorney Weiss explained that mandating the timeline would be an infringement of first amendment rights.   On another note, Supervisor English pointed out that the amendment clarified several issues with sign sizes which he felt was a good addition.  Councilmembers Lindsay and May agreed.
Councilmember Reichgott added that the sign law was only one section of the Town Zoning Code, which the Town Board is presently reviewing in its entirely.  There will be opportunities to tweak it further before it is finalized.  There were no further comments and the public hearing was closed.  The amendments were then unanimously approved. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Item:

  • Resolution to set date for a public hearing on the Woodlands Sewer budget – the hearing was set for December 14th at the regular Town Board meeting. 

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor English reported that the Tuxedo Farms LDC for the sewer plant had met and authorized attorneys from Harris Beach to investigate whether or not there are any legal obstacles that will prevent them from opening the sewer plant.  The Board expects a report in December. The Supervisor reiterated that the LDC Board is committed to reaching the deadline for getting the new sewer plant up and running as per the needs of the community.  They are equally committed to protecting the environment and meeting the DEC’s goals for reducing waste deposited into the Ramapo River.
At the Highway Department property, things are moving along with the removal of the dirt pile as well as the stumps.  They are looking into a required sampling program for the material.  The sampling needs to be under the direction of a qualified environmental professional.  The Town has reached out to their Engineer H2M, who is in the process of reviewing what the needs are so they can make a recommendation. 
The police contract is set to expire on December 31, 2020.  Supervisor English and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay have been meeting with Town Attorney Howard Protter and Labor consultant Michael Richardson to get ready for the negotiations with the police.  They are planning an Executive Session on December 14th to update the Town Board members on this matter. 
At the Highway Department property on Long Meadow Road, the Town has tenants whose leases have either expired or will be expiring soon.  The Supervisor, along with Councilmember Reichgott, has been working with Town Attorney Protter on this matter.  They expect to have some proposals to go over with the rest of the Board during the December 14 Executive Session in hopes that they can present proposed leases to the tenants. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that at the most recent Zoning Workshop they had discussed conducting an updated survey in order to find out what uses were desired in/for the different districts of the Town.  The survey was subsequently created.  It was then circulated to the Town Board members, who completed it.   It will now be sent out to all municipal Board members.  Once those responses have been collected the survey will go out to community members as well.   
Next, Deputy Supervisor Lindsay revealed that a subcommittee of the Economic Development Committee, PORE (Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Events) have been working on the creation of a Pollinator Meadow.
The meadow will be created on the Palisades Interstate Park Commission’s property near the overflow parking lot at the Junction of Routes 17 and 17A. Volunteers will be removing invasive species and plan to plant an array of native species there in order to attract pollinators (butterflies, bees and other wildlife) They hope to promote it as an attraction in Tuxedo.  Information on this project will be made available on the new Town Website. 
Councilmember May stated that she,Town Clerk Dollbaum and Shari Brooks have all been trained on the new Town website which should be live within the next week or so. Supervisor English added that the Town was also in the process of upgrading the internet service in Town Hall.  

Public Comments:
Evelyn David expressed her concern over the Town’s liability with the new dam going in up in Arden.  She recounted what happened during Hurricane Irene, when the East Village flooded out due to the combination of the dam’s failure and a simultaneous release of water from communities upstream. It resulted in a serious  flood. 
Councilmember Reichgott responded that the Town did not have any jurisdiction over the dam because they did not own it.  Rather, he advised that the New York DEC was the responsible party.  The Town does not have any ownership of the dam in Arden.  In response, Ms. David stated that she believed that the Town could ask for scheduled water releases and she urged the Board to do that.  According to Ms. David, there was a conversation about this between the the Planning Board and the owners of the Arden dam who agreed to scheduled releases.  However when the papers became available, all the responsibility and liability had been put on the Town! The Board agreed that they would review the final plan for the dam.

Discussion Items:

  • Economic Development Subcommittee Event - PORE (Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Events) is planning an event for next Spring which will involve a Plein Air painting event (a number of artists to paint subjects around the Town and then display their work at an event at Powerhouse Park.)  The event will also feature a concert with local bands and artists and various food trucks.  The committee is tentatively looking at May 12-15 with rain dates a week later.  Town resident Deirdre Murphy is in charge of the project.  Ms. Murphy commented that the objective of the event will be to highlight the beauty of Tuxedo.  The themes will be water, landscape and architecture.  
  • Climate Smart Task Force to request schedule for Community Choice Aggregation presentation - The joint committee of the Town and the Park met to discuss possible joint projects.  It was pointed out that a presentation from Good Energy would enable both the Town and the Village to gain a lot of points toward their Climate Smart designation.  Good Energy has not presented for a year so it was decided to schedule a special meeting for them to do so.  The Board will also invite a presentation from Joule.

Department Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department has been busy collecting leaves.  They started in Laurel Ridge and now are working in the Town before working their way out to Eagle Valley.  Leaves need to be out on the curb by December 15, which will be the last date for pick up.  Additionally, they are still working on catch basins.  A new roof is in the process of installation on the records building and Department is also working on a fence at the old sewer plant.  Finally electronic cycling will be taking place at the Highway Garage until January. 
Building Inspector Maikisch announced that there is a new owner at Tuxedo Auto Body.  Also a potential new owner for Tuxedo Gulf will be appearing at the TAC committee this week. 
Town Clerk Dollbaum announced that the new website will a button that will allow residents to subscribe to different alerts from the town so that they can essentially customize which types of information they receive from the Town.  Also, she reminded everyone that Town Hall would be closed on Thanksgiving but that recycling and garbage pick-up would occur the day after.

Supervisor English wished everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting November 23, 2020

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Town Board Meeting November 17, 2020

The Town Board held a special meeting on November 17, 2020 at 5pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Supervisor English explained that the reason for the meeting was to adopt the 2021 Town Budget with an amended Tuxedo Farms Sewer System budget levy. He said it was a 1.7% increase from last year.  Councilperson Reighgott asked if this increase was for properties within Tuxedo Farms itself with no changes for the properties in the rest of the Hamlet? The Supervisor replied that this was correct.  He added that this was to cover “anticipated increases in legal fees and Board member compensation & addition fees to Muni Cap that are related to the anticipated activation of the wastewater treatment plant in 2021.”  The budget was then adopted as amended unanimously and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Special Town Board Meeting November 10, 2020

The Town Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, November 10 at 6pm via WebEx for the purpose of voting on the 2021 Town Budget.
Following some very brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the budget as proposed.

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Town Board Meeting November 9, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, November 9 at 7pm via WebEx.

Supervisor Update:
There was none.

Town Board Updates:
Deputy Mayor Lindsay reported that on the Thursday previous the Economic Development committee had met with the Orange County Departments of Economic Development & Tourism and Film and took them on a tour of areas available for use/development and they were very excited!  “It’s putting Tuxedo on the map and we will continue to work with them on how to promote Tuxedo.”
Councilwoman Maria May reported that on November 12 they would be receiving training from Civic Plus on the new website.  The old website has been merged to the new one and they have also added additional content and reorganized things to give it a fresh look.  They expect the new site to be up and running by November 25.  She thanked Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum for all of her assistance.

Monthly Reports:
Supervisor English read submissions from the Justice Court as well as Police Chief Abbott’s police report into the record.  He thanked the Chief for his report further noting that he felt it spoke volumes to the diversity of the calls that the Department faces on a daily basis. 

Vouchers:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving vouchers for payment.

Public Hearing: Sign Amendments:
Prior to opening the hearing, Board Attorney Marisa Weiss provided the Board with a brief over-view of the proposed amendments.  The Board has been conducting an on-going review of the Town Zoning code for quite some time, but it has recently come to their attention that there are some interim amendments that are needed to the sign code for issues that keep arising mostly pertaining to ambiguous or unspecified definitions within the code as well as whether or not certain signs are exempt.  Additionally, the Board has expressed some concern with temporary commercial and real estate signs, which in some cases have been remaining on various properties for extended periods of time.  There are a myriad of issues with many of these signs ranging from their size to lack of maintenance and there has been some overall confusion in terms of the language of the law and how things are supposed to work.    Most of the changes proposed in the amendment have already been discussed and reviewed by the Board as part of their overall zoning review and they center around the clarification of certain definitions such as the different types of signs and a more distinctive description of sign area.  Additionally, the amended law clearly identifies those signs, which are exempted from the permit requirement and cleans up some first amendment issues.  The Building Inspector has expressed some concern with the proposed provision that would allow temporary, commercial and real estate signs to be exempt from the permit requirement for 1 year, citing the potential for enforcement issues.  The attorney has recommended amending things as presented to require permits for these types of signs, however they would be no-fee for a period of one year.  This would allow the Building Inspector to keep track of when the signs went up and how long they have been there.
The public hearing was then opened.
Evelyn David requested that the Town consider installing a second directional Trail sign at the end of River Road.
There were no further comments, however the hearing was kept open.
The proposed amendments will next go to the Planning Board for their review and will be discussed again at the November 23 meeting.  Residents wishing to submit comments prior to that can submit them in writing.

Discussion Items – Review of Public Comments 0n 2121 Budget:
The Board discussed the public comments received during the budget hearing at their previous meeting. 
Town Board member Jay Reichgott provided an overview of the comments in order to mobilize the discussion.  Noting that there would be no action associated with the complementary comments of gratitude that were received during the hearing, Councilman Reichgott thanked those residents for their positive remarks.
Next, a request from the Silver Dollars to carry over their unused funds into the next fiscal year was addressed.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay is working with the bookkeeper in hopes of finding a way to make this happen. 
Moving on, the Board discussed comments centered on dissatisfaction with the proposed 2% raises for Town Board members during the pandemic as well as some objections to the larger increase in stipend proposed for the Deputy Supervisor.
Supervisor English proposed that the Town Board members forgo the proposed 2% increase. 
Councilman Reichgott pointed out that, after determining there were sufficient funds, the Town Board had proposed what was essentially a 2% cost-of -living increase to every Town employee that was not otherwise covered by collective bargaining.  This happens to include the Town Board, the Planning/Architectural Review Board, the Zoning Appeals Board and other various Town employees.  For the individual Town Board members, not including the Supervisor, it comes out to roughly $150 each.   This being said, he agrees that these are tough financial times and is willing to forgo the increase.  He feels they should forgo the increase for all of the appointed boards, but it should remain for the other Town Employees. 
The Board was in agreement.
Supervisor English wondered why this was only being considered for Town Board members and appointed officials and not all elected officials.  “Where does it stop?” he queried. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay noted that the other elected officials included the Town Judges, Highway Superintendent and Clerk.
Councilman McMillan suggested that the line was drawn for him between those who work for the Town for a living and those who do it for civic duty. 
The Supervisor countered that he believed any elected official was motivated by civic duty.  He further suggested that while he had no issue with forgoing the increase for himself, he did have a problem with making that decision for others.
This was discussed at some length.  Ultimately it was decided that the Town Board members would forgo the increase for themselves only.
Moving on to the proposed increase in stipend for the Deputy Supervisor, Supervisor English stated that it was view that there needed to be an Executive Administration presence in Town Hall on a regular basis during the daytime.   This is necessary so that they can conduct business with contractors, consultants, department heads, Town Employees and residents.  The Deputy needs to work directly with the Supervisor.  For a long time the Town’s executive structure has mostly run on an evening schedule.  In the interest of full disclosure he announced that he would be retiring from his day job in January and that a big part of the motivation behind this decision was his position as Supervisor, which he takes very seriously.  “There is no way that this job can attend to all the concerns that this Town is facing with a Supervisor that can only be mostly available in the evenings,” he stated.  “Most Town Council people have full-time jobs and don’t have the opportunity to be able to work in Town Hall in the daytime on a regular basis.  I think we are very fortunate to have a Deputy Supervisor now who is available and does spend many many hours at Town Hall.  This is an executive administration presence that I think is totally required.  This is $5,000.  Lets not lose sight of that.  It’s $5,000 to allow somebody to able to provide this extra service to work with me in Town Hall.”
Councilman McMillan stated that he respectfully disagreed, noting that the level of hours and participatory effort that had been put forth by other officials in those roles, including himself for 3 and1/2 years, had never been fiscally recognized.  “I never thought of recognizing myself for the extra hours and the weekends that I spent.  I thought it came with the territory,” he noted.  He further stated that in his 7 years on the Board he had not heard of this discussion before much less seen it come to fruition.  It’s not that he doesn’t understand what the Supervisor has outlined.  He recognizes that there is frustration associated with the extra hours required by the job, but in his view there is no good argument to create this new stipend for the Deputy Supervisor.
Councilwoman May commented that the Deputy Supervisor role as enacted by Deputy Supervisor Lindsay over the last year has included $250,000 for the Town, mostly due to the grant work that she has done.  This kind of work is hard to do when one has a fulltime job.  She feels that having an executive team in Town Hall is a good idea.  Just because it has never been done before does not mean that it should not be done now or that it doesn’t make sense to do it.  “We are a large Town with few people running all of the things that have to be done,” she stated.  “I don’t have a problem with re-envisioning the role of the Deputy Supervisor as more than just a councilperson,” she said further commenting that she felt they should “definitely do it.”
Councilman Reichgott suggested that the five most dangerous words in the English language were “we’ve always done it this way,” further commenting that just because the proposed stipend has not existed in the past, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t change things now.  He noted that what was being discussed was a stipend associated with the position and not “money for Michele.”  If the reason for the increase is that Deputy Supervisor Lindsay is available and is doing more work as a result, he feels this is not the way they should be thinking about things.  Rather the question at hand is whether or not to establish a larger role for the Deputy Supervisor position, which would in turn deserve a larger stipend.  He further suggested that they should develop a job clear description of what the role was going to be so that in the future, the Deputy Supervisor would know what they were getting into when they accepted the position.  There followed a discussion of the various responsibilities, tasks and duties associated with Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor roles, specifically those that involve time investment such as the Tuxedo Farms LDC, management of Town properties and rental contracts, Police contract negotiations and the mulch pile cleanup efforts/DEC Consent Order.  “There’s no way that all of these actions could be handled by a Board that basically meets twice a month on two Mondays from 7pm until however long we can keep people’s attention span focused,” commented Supervisor English.
Councilman McMillan responded that everything that had just been laid by the Supervisor out in terms of tasks associated with these jobs had always been present.  There was nothing new. He had accomplished most of these things himself in many years fulfilling the role.  He does not agree with the meat of the Supervisor’s argument and does not see this kind of thing happening in other Townships.
The Supervisor replied that if this line item was going to be a sticking point for Councilman McMillan, the way he understood it, the Councilman could vote against the entire budget.
Councilman McMillan suggested that further conversation on this topic could, and should in his view, be held “off-line. “I think we have said what we had to say for public consumption,” he added.
“Yeah, it comes down to voting on the budget,” reiterated the Supervisor.
The Deputy Supervisor commented that she felt that what was being proposed was a change in the position for the benefit of the Town.
“When you talk about adding an additional stipend,” added Councilman McMillan “just keep in mind that there are several people in the Town Hall that do this as their every day job who had to sacrifice their stipends over the past few years for the financial good of the Town.”
Moving on to another topic, the Supervisor referenced an email sent by Councilman McMillan with regard to tax reduction and suggested they discuss it.
Councilman McMillan agreed and proceeded to outline the contents of the email, explaining that the Town had been through some tough times working to become financially solvent over the past 7 years and that this had only just occurred.  There are some unknowns on the horizon, many of which are fueled by Covid, such as tax revenue from the County.  “To give a tax reduction right now after coming out of six years of proverbial hell trying to get back on track is very risky to me,” he stated.  “Our Moody’s rating is not in the A category yet, we are still in the high Bs.  There are still unkowns out there as far as the development of Tuxedo Farms.  There is even some question as to whether or not Related will really open up the sewage treatment plant even though there is a resolution that says it will open on June 1.”  While he is a supporter of keeping taxes under the cap so that residents can enjoy the associated rebates, he suggested that a tax reduction at present would bring an element of risk during an uncertain time. 
Supervisor English responded by detailing where the reductions were coming from, focusing on a $250,000 fund balance restoration fund that is no longer necessary.  There have also been some changes to fees, particularly the reduction of Workman’s Comp by $55,000 and $14,000 in NYS retirement funds.  Additionally, after conversations with Chief Abbot, $53,000 in equipment funding was removed from the Police Budget.  He went on to detail some of the other expenses within the budget and how they factored in to projected financial health over the coming years. 
While he understands what Councilman McMillan is saying, he feels they are moving forward in a responsible way.
The Deputy Supervisor concurred, commenting that they had been able to reduce expenses and that she didn’t believe they should be taxing people in order to restore a fund balance that doesn’t need restoration.  “We’re basically taxing the taxpayers on what the expenses are going to be,” she added. 
Councilman McMillan responded that he was so used to being backed into a corner financially that he is extremely cautionary, which is why he had voiced his views the way he had in the email.  He asked the Supervisor whether or not he believed the Town was properly insulated financially from any litigation that may arise from the Related project either at the level of he project itself where they are building the homes or at the sewer plant.  “I know that we could possibly get the old plant put to us if they don’t comply on June 1.  Do you feel confident that if one of those scenarios were to come true and it got put to us either way that we would be financially stable enough to stave off that effort?”
Based on the work of the attorneys and the engineers and his best evaluation of the current budget, the Supervisor responded that yes, he did have confidence.
There followed some further discussion about the sewer plant.
Councilman Reichgott commented that while he appreciated Councilman McMillan’s point, he felt the Town was currently in a position where they had sufficient reserves in the fund balances that if they should have something unexpected happen, they would be able to cover it…and given the current state of the economy with Covid, it is in his view a reasonable approach to take the gamble and not increase the fund balances this year.
The Supervisor reminded everyone that the books had not yet closed on 2020 suggested that there was a possibility that they might add to the fund balance in this fiscal year, which would also help.
The lack of budget workshops was discussed.
Councilman McMillan suggested that there were parts of the line-item budget that were hard for the general public to understand and that workshops allowed them to ask questions and gain clarity while also gaining some insight into the overall process.
Councilwoman May responded that she had attended the workshops the year previous and was one of only two people in attendance and one of them and the only one present at the other.  “It was informative for me as a citizen to understand what was going on, however at this time of Covid and with 400 pages of worksheets, it might have been almost impossible to do in the way that they were done last year.”  She further commented that she supported the proposed tax break and that she had made a point of working directly with both the Supervisor and the Deputy Supervisor so that she could fully understand the numbers and feel comfortable with them.
“Hopefully this Covid thing will be over next year,” replied the Supervisor, further noting that he had begun working on the budget the previous July. Unfortunately, he had a health emergency, which required hospitalization, over the course of the past month and this had impacted the process.
Deputy Lindsay added that she felt that they had put together a great explanation of many of the decisions that had been made, which was presented at the budget hearing, and that this had been their attempt to make it more understandable for people. 
Councilman McMillan stated that he was not opposed to a tax reduction, but he felt the need to make sure in a responsible way that leadership was confident that the Town was positioned in a good place “ in case the apple cart did flip over that we were going to be somewhat insulated moving into the next year.” He thanked them for the conversation.

Agenda Items:
Resolution to Appoint Fire Commissioners Jeff Dowding and Paul Eichengreen – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Appoint Fire Commissioners Jeff Dowding and Paul Eichengreen with a term commencing January 2021 and expiring December 31, 2025.
Set Date for 2021 Budget Date – The Board scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, November 10 at 6pm for the purpose of voting on the 2021 budget.

Department Updates:
Town Clerk – Town Clerk Marisa Dollbaum began by thanking all of the election workers who helped on Election Day.  There were a total of 18 workers spread between three polling locations.   Seven of them were Tuxedo residents. 
The ADA complaint restroom and ramp renovation project is going well.  Work should hopefully be completed by Thanksgiving.
Town Hall will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.  Mrs. Dollbaum thanked all Veterans for their service.
The Supervisor interjected to thank Mrs. Dollbaum for a job well done managing the election, which entails a lot of work.
Mrs. Dollbaum thanked the Supervisor, noting the former Clerk Donna Matthews had been a huge help.
Highway Department – The department has been busy picking up leaves and getting ready for the winter months.  They are working on repairing catch basins while the weather is still good.  Additionally, they completed work on the dirt pile utilizing the rented equipment, which was subsequently returned.  They are now looking to contract with an environmental engineer to sample all of the materials that have been “sifted and sorted” The DEC has outlined protocols for analyzing and disposing of the materials and the Town continues to work on this.  Superintendent Dollbaum continues to try and identify authorized people who might possibly be able to take some of the materials away.
Electronic Recycling is currently underway at the Highway Garage. There is a box in the front by the gate, with drop off available between the hours of 7-3 M-F and on Saturdays from 8-12.  No televisions or monitors will be accepted.  Detailed information is on the Town website. 
Orange and Rockland will be performing tree trimming and removal on or around November 24 on Hospital Road, School House Lane, Schoolhouse Road, Mountain Road, Hillside Avenue, Circle Drive, Contractors Road, Orange Turnpike/Old Route 17, and associated side streets.  Effected residents will be informed in advance by notice if there are any trees on their property which need to be trimmed. 

Public Comments:
The Deputy Supervisor went through the list of attendees, un-muting each one to ask whether they had any public comment.
Hallie Gaines thanked the Town Board for all their work, further noting that she greatly appreciated the open conversation and reconciliation amongst them when they did not easily agree on things.  She further thanked them for fighting for “important things” for both the Board and the nominal increase for both the people who are working hard and for people who are struggling like she is. 
A resident who identified himself as Hank commented that it had been a good meeting.  He further extended an offer to utilize a large sign in his front yard that is currently used by the Renaissance Faire for two months out of the year.  Noting that he did not want anything political there, he suggested it could be used for any functions or events such as the Farmer’s Market. 
Irene Denaro thanked the Board for all the hard work they were doing in addressing “so many issues in the Town that have been neglected or just not dealt with for such a long time.”

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Notice for Special Town Board Meeting November 10, 2020

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting November 9, 2020

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Notice of Town Board Zoning Workshops November 4 & 9, 2020

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Notice of Public Hearing November 9, 2020

TOWN OF TUXEDO

NOTICE OF HEARING

INTRODUCTORY LOCAL LAW

 

           PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that there has been introduced before the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo, New York, on September 28, 2020,

            a local law entitled, “Sign Law Amendments,” which local law would revise the exemption provisions of the sign code. A complete copy of the Introductory

            Local Law is available for inspection at the Clerk's Office.    

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Section 20 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo will hold a virtual

public hearing on said proposed local law via Webex at 7:00 P.M., on November 9, 2020, further details of which will be included in the public

hearing notice, meeting agenda, and on the Town website, and

            The Town of Tuxedo will make every effort to assure that the hearing is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Anyone requiring special assistance

             and/or reasonable accommodations should contact the Town Clerk.

 

            Dated:            October 27, 2020

                                                       

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Town Board Meeting October 26, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, October 26 at 7pm.  All members were present. 

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:
Recreation Department – Shari Brooks reported that trick or treating will be permitted on Halloween, pursuant to CDC recommendations. (masks, social distancing, passing out candy as opposed to having kids grab it out of a bowl etc.) Additionally there will be a Trunk or Treat event at Powerhouse park during the day where children can come for trick or treating.  There is a strict schedule for the various age groups, which should help to keep the crowd spread out over the afternoon.  Everyone must wear a mask and gloves will be distributed.  Fire Company #1 has decided not to move ahead with their annual event this year due to Covid concerns.  The event will resume next year.
Police – Lt. Norton noted that there would be a police presence at the Trunk or Treat and further there would be some extra patrols on for Halloween night.  Commencing November 1 the PBA will be participating in “No Shave November.”  The money saved by not shaving for an extended period of time will be collected and donated to their charity of choice, which is St. Jude’s Medical Center.  This year they are hoping to step things up a bit by hosting a fundraiser at Powerhouse Park on November 14.  PBA members will set up grills and fire pits and show off their beards while flipping burgers and enjoying live music from Councilman Dave McMillian and friends.
Building Department – Supervisor English indicated that the Board was in receipt of a very thorough, detailed report and that they were planning to divert discussion until their next meeting on November 9 so that they could “really dig in” to some of the questions and comments therein. 
Town Clerk – Donna Matthews reported that construction at the Town Hall was going very well.  People have been inquiring about voting and whether or not the polls will be open as usual.  The answer is yes.  Each District polling place will be open on November 3 from 6am-9pm.  Information pertaining to early voting can be found on the Town website.  Lastly, Mrs. Matthews expressed her gratitude to Claudia Bakhtiary, who recently donated office supplies to the Town Hall. 

PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS:
There were none

PUBLIC HEARING ON THE 2021 PRELIMINARY TOWN BUDGET:
Summary of 2021 Budget:
Supervisor English reported that he and Deputy Supervisor Michele Lindsay had been working with the various Department Heads and members of the Town Board to put together a budget that would remain under the tax cap and keep Tuxedo an affordable place to live.  The proposed budget presents a -.68% levy change from last years budget.  They are looking to reduce expenses by making long-term investments in durable equipment such as new trucks for the Highway Department and new police cars. These will be procured through low interest municipal lease-to-own programs. This aging equipment has reached its dependable life span and needs to be replaced. Budget analysis shows that this will reduce expensive maintenance costs for labor and parts and ensure that our public service teams have the tools they need to do their jobs.  They are attending to a long-term liability at the Town’s Long Meadow Road property.  This 24-acre site continues to be under DEC monitoring.  The DEC has imposed a consent order 9 years ago that set expectation for cleaning up a large deposit of construction debris and other contaminants that were illegally dumped on the site.  When completed, the remediation will remove the liability exposure resulting from the potential fines, which could be up to $3,000 per day.  The excavation, material screening and sample analysis is being done by the heavy equipment operators in the Highway Department utilizing rented equipment.  There is an on-site DEC monitoring who is essentially guiding the process to ensure that the required work is being doing.  They have also allocated fund reserves for contractual obligations with the Police to cover unpaid vacation and sick days upon retirement.  Current Tuxedo PBA obligation estimates total $165,000 for officers eligible for retirement.  This will prepare the Town to meet contractual expenses expected in the near future due to the impending retirement of officers.  The Town Board continues to seek grants and State funds for infrastructure improvements.  They are currently working on ADA bathrooms and accessibility ramps at Town Hall with a$225,000 federal grant. Additionally, the Town Hall roof is going to be replaced with funding from a $100,000 SAM grant (State Aid to Municipalities) that was secured through Senator Jenn Metzger.  The Town has invested in LED street lights programs offered by O & R that will reduce electricity cost by an expected $30,000 annually and they have already seen that savings in 2020.  Both the Tuxedo Park Library and the Tuxedo Joint Fire Districts have submitted budgets with no increase.  They hope to reduce tax burdens for residents and business owners by contracting with Beckmann Appraisals to provide appraisals of New York State land in Tuxedo.  This firm was successful in appraising State lands, including Harriman State Park, in the Town of Stony Point and that resulted in a fairer distribution of the tax levy among all taxpayers in that town.
On the revenue side, the Board has been conservative in anticipating State revenues due to possible Covid reductions in New York State sales tax, State aid and mortgage transfer tax revenues.  The sales tax revenue projections from the County have been set at very conservative levels given the uncertainty of the State’s financial condition.  Again, the goal is to keep Tuxedo affordable for residents and businesses and to continue improving the Moody’s Bond Rating success.  They have also been conservative with the Justice Court revenue estimates.  Because they were closed for months due to Covid, the court is still in the process of trying to clear the backlog of appearances, the vast majority of which are traffic violations.  They expect that actual fine collections will surpass their conservative estimates.  The Hamlet Sewer Distict is a situation in flux.  The existing plant is badly deteriorated and needs to be replaced by the new plant that was constructed with the $30,000,000 bond issued by the Tuxedo Farms Local Development Corp..  The LDC Board has passed a resolution intended to bring the new plant on line by July 1, 2021.  As a result, the budgeting is somewhat ambiguous.  The increase of tax level for this District only will be earmarked either for repairs to the existing plant or the transition to the new plant, which is supposed to have higher operating costs.  There is a fund balance of approximately $430,000 that will be partially used to resolve these issues.  Regarding personnel, all non-contractual employees were afforded a 2% increase.  This includes those who serve on appointed Boards.  They are also allocating a modest increase in funds for a Town Prosecutor who works in the Justice Court to streamline the judicial process and ensure that Tuxedo continues to get its fair share of the fines received.  The Supervisor has also proposed an upgrade in the position of Deputy Supervisor because he feels it is necessary in order to attend to the daily requirements of running the Town.  The executive administration requires a daytime presence in Town Hall in order to conduct business with contractors, consultants, department heads, Town employees and Town residents.   The Deputy works directly with the Supervisor and the workload requires a level of engagement that goes far beyond the evening schedules of Town Board meetings and occasional workshops.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay has successful authored and managed several large grants and cost savings initiatives totalling over $350,000 in 2020.  The executive team also manages project oversite for the sewer plant and the cleanup of the Long Meadow Road property as well as contract negotiations and development projects. 
There are also monies in the budget to hire a new full time police officer to replace retired Sgt. Decker.  Funding to add part-time officers in order to fill all shifts will also be provided. 
The Public hearing was then opened. 
Evelyn David stated that her comment did not pertain to the budget but rather she wanted to discuss the construction of a new dam in Arden, the Emergency Action Plan and who is liable.  She requested that the Board put this on an agenda for discussion in the near future.
Claudia Bakhtiary commented that going through the line items could sometimes be a bit “befuddling” and she wished that there could be some kind of guidance the public could look up to follow along.  Noting that 2% was not a terribly big increase across the board for everyone who was working to run the Town, she thanked the Board for their time and efforts.
Kim D agreed that navigating the budget had been a bit confusing but that 2% was seemed a relatively small increase and she also thanked the Board for their hard work. 
Jerry Mattola wondered whether there would be a meeting with Town residents to discuss the sewer plant and the potential increase in rates.  He was told that this would be addressed later in the meeting.
John McNamara commented that times were tough at the moment and Covid was making things especially difficult for a lot of people many of whom found themselves out of work and unable to pay their taxes or their mortgage.  The Town is anticipating lower revenues from the State.  The previous administration worked hard to build back the reserves and he finds it to be complete unacceptable for the Town Board members to give themselves a pay raise. “I appreciate the hard work, but you all knew what the pay was when you were running for the Board and to give yourselves raises in the time of a pandemic when people are out of work is completely unacceptable and especially if you are dipping into the reserves for that.”
Mary Graetzer agreed that a raise a Board raise was inappropriate.  Further she wondered whether there had been any public budget workshops that people could listen to in order to understand how they had arrived at what was being presented.  “Usually, the way it has gone, is that the budget is presented and then the Board has workshop meetings so that the different Board members have a chance to ask questions and discuss what’s going on with the budget…and to my knowledge, that didn’t take place this year.  If it did, it wasn’t in public and I didn’t see any of it.”  She further noted that she had been following the Town Board for decades and that she did not know of a single Deputy Supervisor who had had any salary other than the one that every other Town Board member receives.  She then reiterated that she felt it was extremely inappropriate as well as hurtful to people in the Town that this year had been chosen to raise the Deputy’s salary.
Michael Reardon noted that he hoped everyone was remaining safe and healthy during these difficult times.  He then inquired as to when the budget workshops had been held, further noting that this particular Board had ben “very big” on workshops in the past, but he had not seen anything done for the budget.  Secondly, he wanted to know whether or not police 24-hour police coverage had been restored, suggesting that before any money should be spent, it should go towards the first responders who are protecting residents during these difficult times.  “The explanation of the Deputy Supervisor getting over 70% pay increase from the Supervisor made it sound like the Supervisor needed help.  If the Supervisor needs help, the money should come from his salary not from the taxpayers.”
Andy Berish commented that the Silver Dollars had not been able to go anywhere to spend their allotted money and he wondered whether the Board might carry this funding over into next year so that they might be able to use it in the future or if they would lose it. 
Next, each of the Town Board members were given an opportunity to comment.  Dave McMillan noted that he had provided feedback as requested via an email.  He agreed with some of the public comments, specifically pertaining to the increase in salary for the Deputy Supervisor, suggesting he felt it might not be warranted.  “I didn’t know there was a pitch counter going on for all the efforts,” he commented.  “I certainly put in a lot of effort when I did the job for over three years so, I guess I didn’t understand what the catalyst for that was.”
Maria May stated that she wasn’t sure that people realized that the work of the Town was huge.  “Unless you are on the Board and you see the work that the Deputy Supervisor does, you do not realize the amount of time, the amount of hours, the amount of effort and also the amount of money that comes into the Town because of the work of the Deputy Supervisor….so I think it is definitely ok and right and to the benefit of the taxpayers in this Town that this position would be made more of a fuller-time position.  The increase is definitely warranted.  It’s a lot of work.”
Jay Reichgott noted that he did not have any particular comments to make other than that he had heard the comments from the residents and would take them under advisement. 
Supervisor English then stated that he felt the Town Board should give all of the comments careful deliberation so that they could respond effectively at their November 9 meeting with real focus.  Public comments will be accepting in writing until Thursday, November 5.  These can be submitted via email to the Town Clerk.  The budget is due to the State by November 20.  If necessary the Board will set special meetings to accommodate the process.
The hearing was then closed subject to the receipt of written comments.

AGENDA ITEMS:
Resolution to appoint the Town Clerk- Donna Matthews is retiring effective October 31, 2020. The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Marisa Dollbaum to the position of Town Clerk to fill the unexpired term ending 12/31/21.

OTHER BUSINESS:
Budget Modification – Supervisor English made a motion to make a modification to the 2020 budget allowing for an increase of $250,000 to cover expenses associated with the dirt pile remediation cleanup at Highway Garage.  The money will be taken from the unassigned fund balance in the A fund. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay noted that the Town was finally moving to remediate the dirt pile and comply with the DEC consent order.  “We are really saving a lot of money by renting equipment and having our highway machine operators actually running the machinery to sort the dirt.”  She cautioned that if they did not move forward with this, they could be facing DEC fines of up to $3,000 per day, as noted earlier in the budget summary.  They feel it is a prudent way to deal with a serious situation.  They had previously allocated monies for repairs to the Town roof, and that allocation has covered the costs of dirt pile remediation. They are now at the point that a further allocation needs to be made that will fully cover the costs of the remediation. Funds for the Town Hall roof will remain allocated and that project will soon be in the bid phase.  
Mr. McMillan wondered if the $250,000 would finish the project or whether or not this was only phase 1 of the project.
The Deputy Supervisor responded that it was just for this year and that there was an additional $250,000 budgeted for 2021 to keep the project moving forward.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the modification.
Highway Department Report –Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum reported that rental agreements for the equipment being utilized for dirt pile project had been closed out that day.  The next phase of the project entailed cleaning up by sorting through and separating the material that is left.  They will work on this over the winter.  The department has been busy picking up leaves.  The Superintendent cautioned that if residents rake their leaves and leave them by the street for pick up, they should be sure to remove sticks and branches from the piles so as not to clog the machines. 
They have also been busy readying the plows and trucks for winter and snow season. 
Lastly, it was noted that there is still mulch available for residents at Quarry Field.
Supervisor English commented that he visited the Mulch Pile at the highway garage at least three times per week and he felt that under Superintendent Dollbaum’s leadership the Department was doing a fantastic job.  He thanked everyone for moving the cleanup efforts forward.   There followed a brief discussion
about the mulch pile cleanup and the associated process.
Discussion – Prior to adjourning the meeting, the Board briefly discussed and agreed that they would put the budget statement from earlier that evening into letter form so that it could be widely circulated via the Town website as well as email.

 The meeting was then adjourned.   

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Agenda forTown Board Meeting October 26, 2020

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Click here to view a copy of the preliminary budget

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Notice of Public Hearing for the Preliminary 2021 Town of Tuxedo Budget October 26, 2020

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Agenda for Zoning Workshop October 7, 2020

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Updated Meeting Notices for the Month of October

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshop October 7, 2020

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Town Board Meeting September 28, 2020

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English said that he had no update for this meeting.
Councilperson McMillen stated that, starting with the next meeting, he would be streaming the meetings live.  This will be in addition to recording the meetings for the Town’s You Tube channel as well as the WebEx. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
The Supervisor stated that there would be no public comments on agenda items at this meeting.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to set rate for Alarm Permits – At the suggestion of Town Attorney Marissa Weiss, the Board agreed that as of January 1, the fee would be $50 a year for residents and $100 for commercial facilities. After the first year, this fee would be cut in half to $25 for residents and $50 for commercial facilities.  It only pertains to alarms that work through a central monitor.  The resolution passed unanimously.
  2. Arden Homestead/Echo Lake Dam request for relief from moratorium – This action is required in order to move this application to the Planning Board. It was passed unanimously.
  3. Orange County Historical Society Arden bridge request for relief from moratorium – this resolution covers the bridge over the dam.  It was also passed unanimously.
  4. Introductory Local Law Sign Permit Amendments and set public hearing date – The changes being considered will be posted on the Town website and the public hearing will be held at the next Town Board meeting on October 13.  The resolution was passed unanimously.

Department Head Updates:
Town Clerk Donna Matthews stated that ADA construction on the Town Hall has started.  They are doing considerable work in the Town Clerk’s office and, as such, it may be necessary for her to work remotely for a couple of days.  If this happens, she will notify everyone.  She also stated that with the election coming up, she recommends that everyone who can should vote early.  The closest place for Tuxedo residents to do this is Monroe.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department was coming to the end of their sign replacement program.  He also noted that there was still mulch available at Quarry Field. 
The Supervisor added that the work to clean up the Highway property was coming also very nicely.

Public Comments:
For the second meeting in a row, Supervisor English decreed that there would be no public comments.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 28, 2020

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Town Board Meeting September 14, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx. All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English began the meeting by recapping the recent meeting of the Sewer LDC in which it was decided to bring the new plant online as soon as possible and no later than July 1, 2021.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay stated that as part of her economic development efforts, she has gone ahead and had a a design put together for the Quarry Field billboard.  The sign will promote the Town as a place to live and do business. 
Councilperson May reported that she had had a conversation with garbage contractor IWS about glass recycling which has been an issue lately.   The problem according to IWS is that in Orange County, there is comingled recycling. The method used by IWS to pick up recycling entails the glass getting crushed and then shards get mixed in with the other materials making them all unusable.  The company suggested that the Town set up 2 stations, one in the north and one in the south part of town and then residents could take their glass to those places.  This doesn’t seem like such a good idea to Councilperson May and she is still working on coming up with a way to get Tuxedo residents’ glass recycled. 
Supervisor English added to his report saying that the DEC is very pleased with the progress being made to clean up the dirt pile at the highway garage. 
Councilperson McMillen wanted to know about the progress of mounting the mock website for the town.
Councilperson May responded that she has been in touch with the company several times and they keep saying that they are working on it.
Councilperson Reichgott advised that the ADA improvements to Town Hall (bathrooms, ramps) is now in the paperwork stage and he hopes that the actual work will begin soon.


Agenda Items

  1. Resolution on Retention of Records – This will bring the Town in compliance with State standards regarding records and documents and which ones the Town should keep and for how long.
  2. Sign Application Discussion – This was a long discussion about which signs had been approved and which had not.  Also discussed was what the role of the Building Inspector should be in enforcing sign laws.  The current inspector, Dave Makisch doesn’t feel he has the authority to do much about signs which not in compliance with the code. The Board decided to ask the attorneys to review this section of the code and make suggestions. 
  3. Resolution appointing Jacobowitz & Gubits to defend the Town of Tuxedo in the following tax certiorari proceedings:  JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Tuxedo Club, Inc., Millenium Pipeline Company LLC – This authorizes hiring the Town Attorney to work on these cases.

Department Updates:
Supervisor English has been researching a new lock for the new gate at Lucky Park.  The one he is recommending would have 500 keys that could be distributed to Town residents only. 

Public Comments:
Supervisor English stated that having public comments was optional after which he commented “since it’s 8:43, I’m going to move to vouchers.” He added that anyone having a comment could submit it via email or wait until the next meeting. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 14, 2020

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Notice of Town Board Meeting - Exectuive Session Only - September 15, 2020

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Town Board Meeting August 24, 2020

Click here to watch a video recordning of this meeting

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 24, 2020

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Town Board Meeting August 10, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, August 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm via Web Ex.  All members were present

Public Hearing Park Rules and Regulations Amendment to local law:
The recent problems in Powerhouse Park, with too many non residents crowding into the Park and then littering and not cleaning up afterwards, were the motivation for putting together a local law that would allow the police to regulate use of the park.  Unfortunately, the Board had not discussed the proposed law among themselves and a copy of the proposal had not been made available to the public, which made having a hearing where the public could comment almost impossible.  Therefore the Board chose to read through the proposal and discuss it workshop style.  The hearing was continued until the next Town Board meeting on August 24.  Click here to read the part of the Town Code that was discussed.  Before the hearing continues, a new copy of the proposed new code will be posted on the Town website. 

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English began his report by announcing that there would be a Sewer LDC meeting held via Web Ex on Tuesday, August 11 at 3 pm.  
The Town received a Judge’s order to remove DeMarino’s equipment from the Highway Department site so that was taken care of. 
The Supervisor further reported that he has been scheduling budget meetings in preparation for the 2021 Town budget.  He also commented that the Town is still accepting bids for the cleaning contract (to clean Town Hall, Police Department, Train Station, Highway Department and the bathrooms at Murphy Field. These bids are due on August 17.  
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that she was finishing up work on the SAM grant (State and Municipal Facilities Programs) for $100,000 to replace the Town Hall roof. 
Councilmember Reichgott gave a quick account of his work on the grant for adding an ADA handicap accessible restroom to the first floor of Town Hall in order to accommodate people using the court.  Since the Town has now received more money than they initially thought they would need, they have decided to make changes to the second floor restroom in order to make that ADA compliant as well. 
Councilmember May reported that the new town website, currently in development, would be moving on to the next step, which involves the developer building a “staging website,”

Discussion Topics:
1-Image for Quarry Field billboard – the plan is to reproduce the main image from the new website with a line underneath that reads “visit our new website” followed by url.  Under that will be the slogan ‘Gateway to Orange County.”

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Mary Graetzer wondered why the Town was hiring another assessor to reassess the stand lands in Town when they already had an assessor in their employ.  She further wondered why the current assessor couldn’t do the work.  She was told that this would be addressed  when that item came up on the agenda.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to approve reopening plan for Tuxedo Town Hall-Covid 19 pandemic – The Town Board has written a plan for reopening the building which follows the executive orders from the Governor.  The plan was approved unanimously although the details of the plan were never divulged to the public.
  2. Resolution approving Beckmann Appraisals proposal for reassessing State Lands – Assessor Jim Davies stated that the reasons for hiring an outside assessor are 1-he’s not an expert on vacant land and 2-he will be considered as biased by the State where an outside assessor would not.  The Board had more questions and decided to put off the decision on this until the next Town Board meeting.  In the meantime, they will work on getting answers.

New Business:
Planning Board Chair John Banyo appeared to bring the Board up to speed on 2 projects that are currently before the Planning Board.  The first one is an Audio Visual Production Center for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This is a large project which encompasses 249 acres only 7 of which are in the Town of Tuxedo (the rest is in the Town of Ramapo). The site plan doesn’t show any development on the 7 acres.  The rest of the development is extensive and includes a 880,000 sq. ft. building with studios, a clinic, and a cafeteria.  There are also plans for 645 residential units (studio or 1 bedroom) and 1255n parking spaces.  They will need a freshwater wetlands permit from Tuxedo as well as a driveway permit.  The Ramapo Town Board has requested lead agency status and the Planning Board has agreed to that but requested that the Tuxedo Town Board be designated as an involved agency.  The other project is an addition to St. Joseph’s Home.  This is entirely in the Town of Ramapo but the access road (which is the current St. Joseph’s access road) is on the Tuxedo town line.  They are proposing a 20,000 sq. ft. addition with 24 additional beds.  Also a separate 3700 sq, ft, house with 5 bedrooms is being proposed.   Mr. Banyo also informed the Town Board that the Planning Board would be discussing the rebuild of the Echo Lake dam at their meeting on Tuesday, August 11.   

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola commented that there have been many bears on his road and wondered if there was any way to get them tranquilized and moved.  The answer was no.  The DEC will not do this. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 10, 2020

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Tuxedo Town Hall Reopening Monday August 3rd, 2020


Esteemed Town Employees, Town Board colleagues, Tuxedo residents, and visitors.

The Tuxedo Town Hall is now open to the public. This follows many weeks of restricted access that was intended to protect Town employees and the general public. Now, Town offices, including the Town Clerk, all have regularly scheduled hours in order to serve you. Hand sanitizer will be at each door and masks are required to enter the building.

The Justice Court, our busiest unit, will resume “in person” operations this week. They have a backlog of cases to adjudicate so managing the crowds will be a concern. We will limit the number of people in the building at any one time and the flow of traffic will be unidirectional. Visitors to the court will enter through the front door, be admitted to the courtroom, go before the judge, and exit through the side door in the courtroom.

Visitors to the second floor, for the Building Department, Assessor, Recreation Department, Supervisor’s Office, or for any other purpose will be directed to enter through the back of the building, up the ramp. Visitors will be advised to call the person they are meeting to either set an appointment or to have someone open the door.

Town Board Meetings will continue to be held via WebEx until further notice. The Community Room, where we normally hold these meetings, is small with poor ventilation and  thus not suitable for any size crowd. I hope that in the fall we can begin hosting meetings in person. The Community Room is also a meeting space for our senior citizens so keeping them safe will be an important factor in deciding our public access policy.

All outgoing voice messaging must be updated to clarify that Town Hall is open and that staff are here on a regular schedule. Our webpage message will be updated and all signage should reflect these changes.

As the pandemic continues to unfold The Town Board, working under the direction of The Governor’s Office and Orange County officials, will update our  emergency response as necessary. These plans are all subject to change. 


We continue to move forward and strengthen our community. So, stay safe, work together, and continue to help those most in need.


Respectfully,  Ken English - Town Supervisor

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Town Board Meeting July 27, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  Councilmember McMillen was absent.  

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English opened the meeting by giving an update on what has been happening in and around Powerhouse Park.  The situation began with an influx of hikers who came mostly to enjoy the trails in Harriman State Park and were parking all over the place—on the roads in the East Village and up and down Route 17, all of which are no parking areas.  The Town responded by putting up new No Parking signs everywhere and the police wrote many tickets.  The goal was to get the hikers to park in the commuter lot.  They had some success with that.  The next problem area was at the Lucky Skate Park, again with hikers parking there.  Eventually, the Highway Department installed a gate with a lock in that area,  which solved the problem. At the same time, police details were increased which meant bringing in extra part timers.  Now there is still a huge influx of non residents arriving who want to access Powerhouse Park with some staying there and others going through and up to “Bubbles” to swim and just “hang out,” barbequing and swimming.  They have left behind a huge mess with garbage everywhere.  The Supervisor and police officers have hiked up there and explained to the people they found t that the area was being shut down to non residents.  A group consisting of Highway Department workers, police officers and many local citizens cleaned up much of the garbage at both Powerhouse Park and Bubbles. Police details will be continued and the Board will be checking the Town Code to make sure that all of the “unwanted activity” there is clearly unlawful.  Movie Night was held on Friday, July 24th in Powerhouse Park.  It was very successful with over 60 people showing up to enjoy music and a movie. 
The Town continues work on clean-up at the Highway Department property.  The Board has put aside $250,000 to accomplish this.  So far they have rented a screener, a bulldozer, an excavator and a contamination condemnation meter.  The Highway Department has designated two men to work on the project which they estimate will take about 5 months. 
Regarding the Hamlet sewer plant, a WebEx meeting has been scheduled with the Hamlet Sewer District LDC Board on August 11.  They will be putting together a presentation of what is involved and what the costs might be with bringing the new plant on line. 
Agenda Items:

  • Town of Tuxedo State Land Assessment Study – A presentation was given Bill Beckman from the Town of Stony Point detailing the proposes to reassess the state lands in the Town of Tuxedo, which would increase the tax base.  To see a copy of this presentation plus an analysis of the State owned land click here and here
  • Cleaning and Refuse Collection bids – The bid from IWS for Refuse collection has gone up but ultimately the Board awarded them the contract.  The Town only received one bid for the cleaning contract and that bid was not filled out correctly. Town Clerk Donna Matthews informed the Board that she had received 2 inquiries from additional firms after the deadline for bids had passed. After some conversation with Town Attorney Howard Protter, the Board decided to reject the one incorrectly filled out bid and put the contract back out hoping that the other two firms would get bids in this time. 
  • Changes to Town Code, Chapter 19, Article II: Park Rules and        Regulations – The changes are to spell out prohibited activities and to set a fine for each offense. There will be a public hearing on this at the next regularly scheduled Town Board meeting on August 10. 
  • Changes of procedure for Court Prosecutor – Donald K. Sanford, Esq. was appointed as Town Prosecutor.  The Town will maintain a list of prospective prosecutors to be used in the event that Mr. Sanford cannot be present.
  • Resolution of revised Fair Housing – This is required for eligibility for Community Block grants and it was approved unanimously.
  • Award contract for Town Hall ADA improvements – The Town received a grant for this project.  They bid it months ago but all the bids came in too high.  Subsequently, they received more money from the County for the project.  They awarded the bid to WestStar Tech Services Corp. for $198,405. 

Items for Discussion:

  • Application for COVID-related FEMA funds – this discussion was postponed due to Lt. Norton being on vacation as the Board needs his input.
  • Parking lot on Post Office Property – is something the Board would like to consider as soon as part of their Community Funding Application (CFA) as soon as those grants open up again.
  • CFA grant matching funds – The Board won’t know what that amount is until they know the cost of the project.
  • Graphics for Quarry Field Billboard – Councilmember Reichgott has just discovered that the Town owns this sign.  Since the information on it is now a year old, he feels the Board should come up with ideas for what should go there.  Several ideas were brought up (graphics from the website, having the Economic Development Committee make suggestions, something that would point back to the Town website which can be continuously updated unlike the billboard) although no definitive plan was decided on.

 

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department is finishing up with patching the roads and getting ready for line striping.  They are also working on the dirt pile at the Highway Garage. 
Town Clerk Donna Matthews reported that her office is running smoothly during the shut down for Covid 19. She further commented that her ex husband had passed away on Sunday and she wanted to commend the police department who were very helpful after her son found his father.  She also thanked all the residents who had come out to help clean up the mess at Powerhouse Park as well as the police for their work in patrolling Powerhouse Park and helping to enforce the rules there. 
Supervisor English added that the Town Court is scheduled to open on August 5 and everyone is working to make sure it goes smoothly.  The details are yet to be finalized.

Public Comments:
Deirdre Murphy thanked Councilmember May for all her work on the website. Sue Scher commented that she felt it had been a very good, thorough meeting.

 Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned into an Executive Session to discuss contracts and litigation with the Town Attorney. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 27, 2020

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Notice of Zoning Workshop July 29

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo will hold Public Workshop to review Zoning changes on Wednesday July 29th at 7:00 pm. This workshops will be held virtually via WebEx. (Log onto Tuxedogov.org and click the WebEx icon at the top of the page. To dial in 408-418-9388 Access Code 796-956-205)

There will be No Public Participation

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Special Town Board Meeting July 20, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

This was a special meeting called for two agenda items only.  The first item was the annual presentation from Town Auditor Andrew Arias of Cooper Arias.  To see the Powerpoint presentation given by Mr. Arias, click here.

The second agenda item was a public hearing on a CFA (Consolidated Funding Application) grant.         Deputy Supervisor Lindsay opened the hearing by stating that she had recently learned that the Consolidated Funding process has been delayed indefinitely because of Covid 19.  The hearing had already been scheduled so they decided to go ahead with it.  The Deputy Supervisor noted that she had received some good comments from members of the Town Center Committee arm of the Economic Development Committee.  Copies of the 2019 application were circulated. This year the Town had planned to add the preliminary drawings done by engineer Al Fusco pertaining to the vehicle and parking law changes recently addressed by the board. No action has been taken as of yet on this plan and Supervisor English stated that no action would be taken until the Board had heard from all the residents who would be directly affected by it.   To see a copy of the 2019 application, click here.
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Notices for Special Town Board Meeting July 20, 2020

Click HERE to view the Financial Report Notice

Click HERE to view the Notice for the Public Hearing on the Consolidated FUnding Application (CFA)

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Town Board Meeting July 13, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English stated that the Town remains under a consent order from the DEC at the old Perfect Cut property (mulch pile), which has been in place for about 10 years.  There is now the potential for fines for non-compliance.  The Town has put aside $250,000 and under the direction of new case monitor, Larry Ricci, has rented equipment to work on the site.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum has dedicated 2 employees for the work. The Town has also rented a meter to test the dirt that they are screening.  The employees will be sifting through the entire dirt pile and sifting out all the various contaminants that have been discovered.  No contaminated soil will be allowed to leave the site. 
The new hamlet sewer plant needs to be brought on line.  The existing plant has reached the end of its lifespan.  Supervisor English reported that he would be meeting with representatives of Related on July 15 to discuss the process and that he hoped to hear an update on their plans for the Tuxedo Farms property at that time as well. 
RFPs have been issued for the garbage contract as well as for a professional cleaner to clean Town Halll, the Police Station, the Train Station, the Murphy Field restrooms and the Highway Department. 
Since this region is now in Phase 4 of the Coronavirus remediation, the Board has started to think about reopening Town Hall.  Noting that he had not received any complaints from the public, the Supervisor commented that he felt that the Town Hall personnel has responded well to constituents during the closure.
Councilmember McMillen stated that he has negotiated with Optimum a wireless upgrade for the entirety of Town Hall as well as an upgrade for the Community Room. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay has been keeping track of the deadline changes for the Census.  She stated that it was very important for everyone to be counted so that the Town would be eligible to receive all the possible money it could. The deadline is currently in mid-August. As a follow-up to the Economic Development webinar, “Moving Tuxedo Forward,” she said there were so many expressions of support from various leaders and she wanted to follow up on all of them so she will be calling another meeting soon.   She also announced that the Village of Tuxedo Park has voted to become a climate smart community.  She hopes that there are projects that the Town and Village will now be able to work on together. 
Councilmember May reported that she is still working on the new Town website. 

Agenda Items:  

  • Sign Applications-the Town has received some applications for real estate signs.  As such the Board is in the process of reviewing the zoning code in order to insure that the applications are in compliance.  While they are at it, they are also considering whether they might want to make any changes to the existing code. 
  • Resolution settling Tax Certioraril proceeding – this proceeding was brought by the estate of Alex Salm.

   
   
Other Business:
Town Auditor Andrew Arias will give his presentation on the 2019 Town audit and the year to date finances on Monday, June 20 at 7 pm via WebEx.  There will also be la public hearing about a CFA grant (State Economic Development grant as opposed to the CDBG grants which are federal) at that meeting.  Plans are to add some engineering drawings to the application which was being worked on last year. 

Items for Discussion:

  • Remediation of Welcome to Tuxedo Signs – Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and his department will take care the remediation of damage that was done to the sign coming into Tuxedo from the South by the construction crew working on the Sloatsburg road diet work.)
  • Movie Night at Powerhouse Park jointly organized by the town Recreation Department and the Parks & Outdoor Recreation Committee of the Economic Development Council will be held on July 22
  • Security at Powerhouse Park – There have been many non-residents picnicking and barbequing at Powerhouse Park.  Signs have been erected stating that the area is for residents only. More signs are coming!  The Board will ask the police to enforce this. 
  • The Board discussed their responses to a survey that Town Planner Bonnie Franson had given them so she can schedule any further workshops that might be needed.
  • A zoning workshop was scheduled for July 29.  There will be no public participation. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 13, 2020

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Town Board Meeting June 21, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm via WebEx.  All members were present. 

Town Supervisor/Town Board
Supervisor English began his remarks by reporting that the Economic Development event or “Moving Tuxedo Forward” held on Saturday, June 20 at 10 am, had been very successful with close to 100 people logged on to attend.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay mentioned that she thought the comments made by the elected officials who were present were particularly helpful especially when it came to addressing the financial situation that the whole State faces right now.  She added that there were “a lot of things that could still be done,” and said she would circle back to her committee members to follow up on the suggestions that were made. 
Next, the Supervisor announced that he wanted to address the executive order which had closed Town Hall so the Board could formulate plans for opening the Hall and allowing people in to transact business.  He suggested that  Town Hall should be open with limited access to the employees with his main concerns being traffic flow and maintaining a healthy environment.  He further suggested putting a notice on the door outlining the process which will include only one person at a time to approach the window for service and markers on the floor to help people maintain a social distance.  Town Attorney Marissa Weiss advised the Board that they would need an Executive order outlining the process.  The attorneys will work with the Board on the details.  The original Executive Order has expired so they will need to extend it with some modifications. 
Councilmember Reichgott reported that the ADA improvements for the courtroom for which the bids were rejected at the last meeting, was being re-advertised in the coming week with some changes to the project.  Also, he announced that there was now more money available for the Community Block grants due to Covid and the Town has received additional money for the project. 
Councilmember May commented that she was still working on the new Town website and now has the first mock up of site.  There was some discussion about what things various people want to see on the site.  The big one seems to be the ability to accept payments online.  The Board will look into this. 
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay stated that since comments from the public are not allowed at the zoning workshops, people have been asking when they will be able to ask questions and get responses.  The answer is that there will be several more workshops as the Boards work on the Zoning Code and public hearings, where the public can be heard and ask questions.  These meetings will probably start in September. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none. 

Agenda Items:

  • Resolution to approve sign permit – Longstreet & Associates – Tuxedo Park Fine Homes is looking to put a sign on property located on Route 17 near Stevens Lane advertising commercial property for sale.  They are looking to have the sign up for a period of one year.  Upon checking the Board finds that the property in question is not zoned for commercial use.  There is some confusion between the different maps marking the zoning in Town.  Currently the property in question is zoned residential and it is marked to remain residential in the upcoming zoning amendments.  The Board took no action on this item pending clearing up the confusion on the zoning maps.  Building Inspector Maikisch was directed to let the applicant know.
  • Discussion – Outdoor Dining (Restaurants) – Since indoor dining starts on 6/23 and there are only 4 restaurants in town (neither Tuxedo Sushi nor Steve’s were interested in outdoor dining) the Board decided to let Building Inspector Maikisch make the determination on this. 

 

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum said he had heard grants for sidewalks mentioned in the Economic Development Conference and would be interested in getting one.  He was given information from several Board members and it was decided that he would get together with Councilmember Reichgott and walk the sidewalks so they could decide what to apply for. 
The Superintendent said he and his crew had been out patching roads.  They have done Mombasha, Brammertown, Susan Court, Alma Court, Helmstown and are currently on Benjamin Meadow Road.  He plans to start chip sealing on July 6.  Soon, they will begin changing street signs in Laurel Ridge, Clinton Woods and the north end of Town. 

Public Comments:
Irene DeNaro wondered what had happened to the stop sign in Laurel Ridge.  The signs were missing for several days but are back now.  No one knew the answer to this.  New signs were ordered and installed. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned into an Executive Session to receive advice from the attorney. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 21, 2020

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Tuxedo Moving Forward - A Town Development Summit

The Tuxedo Town Board will host a WebEx Webinar with Residents and Elected Officials on Saturday, June 20 from 10am-12pm.

Click here for more details.

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Town Board Meeting June 8, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, June 8, 2020 at 7:00 via WebEx.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor’s Report:
Supervisor English commented that the Board has been holding Zoning Workshops which he personally finds very helpful in bringing him up to speed on planning and zoning issues in the Town.  The workshops have been led by Town Planner Bonnie Franson.  There is no public participation in the workshops but public hearings will be happening  down the road and that’s where the public will be able to participate.  In the meantime, he feels that the Town Board and the members of the Planning and Zoning Board who have chosen to attend the meetings are all getting a good education about the Town’s Code. 

The Supervisor then remarked that he was having a hard time coping with “everything that’s going on in our country” right now.  He expressed his fervent hope that everyone will actually mean the words they say in the pledge of allegiance and make this country fair and equitable for everyone. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution for police officer promotion. - In the wake of Sgt. Decker’s retirement, police officer Michael Eichengreen was promoted to Sergeant and was sworn in.  A ceremony where the new Sergeant received his badge and bars and was congratulated by fellow officers was shown via WebEx.  The new sergeant’s wife, son and parents were present.
  2. Finalize plans for the “Moving Tuxedo Forward” event to be held on June 20th via WebEx – Members of the different sub-committees that comprise the Economic Development Committee will present descriptions of what they have been working on to a panel consisting of County Executive Steve Neuhaus, State Senator Jen Metzger and State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec.  Members of the public are welcome to log in and listen as well.
  3. Update on Website – Councilmember May reported on her ongoing work on the Town’s upcoming new website.  They are currently working on the design criteria and are looking for pictures to post as well as discussing a Town logo

Set schedule for future Zoning Workshops and plan for public. Hearing – The next workshop will be on June 17.  The Board thinks they might need 2 or 3 more workshops after that.  They hope to get
     to public hearings by September.


Public Comments:
 

The Board then held an informal discussion about the possibility of any protests or gatherings of people looking to express their feelings about what is going on in this country.  They have had some inquiries from a group of people who would like to gather and express their feelings.
 Sue Scher said she represents a small group of Tuxedo residents who want to to gather and share views about systemic racism.  They are not affiliated with any organized groups.  They want to be sure they are socially distanced.  They have heard that Chief Abbott and the police department are interested in working with them and they are pleased about that.  No date has been determined as yet for a gathering but they want to make sure they welcome people from all parts of Town. 
Supervisor English commented that the Town Board looked forward to hearing more from this group.  They are amenable to working with them and will try to remove any obstacles that might exist for their gathering.  The Board very much wants to support free speech and citizen involvement. 
Next, the Supervisor commented that the Board would like to set up a system where each section of the Town would have a dedicated time slot during which they could  come and discuss the issues that concern them with the Board.  He noted that there were “lingering concerns’ in the East Village about the Lucky Skate Park.  Over the past weekend, there has been vandalism there.  Donna Matthews observed that there have been problems with this park for a long time although they are getting worse because of Covid-19 and the fact that people are around and looking for things to do.  There is a lot of traffic going in and out of the park and cars are parking in the woods.  There are also A.T.V.s coming in and out. She reported that last weekend a lot of graffiti was painted in the park and, despite the fact that there is supposed to be no parking, people are parking there anyway.  The kids she saw in the park over the weekend did not live in Town.  At the moment, she feels the Park is not safe for use by younger kids.  Also, there is garbage everywhere.  There is also graffiti and lots of out of town cars parked at Powerhouse Park.  There seems to be a lot going on at both Parks and she doesn’t feel it’s just hikers.  Residents of the East Village are becoming more and more concerned about what’s happening in their neighborhood.    She wondered if the Town could put up signs stating that the Parks were for use by residents only.  The Board discussed with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum installing a gate that could be locked (leaving ample access for fire trucks). It was agreed that this could and would be done as soon as possible. Ultimately, Supervisor English stated that he wants the Board to get together with residents of the East Village to find out what their needs and desires are for a permanent solution.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay suggested they consider applying for a community block grant to pay for improvements to the parks. 

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum commented that there was still mulch available for residents, although he finds that the demand for it has diminished.  His department is getting ready to do their annual road work.  They are also working on inventory mapping.  Councilmember May wondered about installing a doggie bag dispenser and receptacle for collecting the waste at Quarry Field.  The Superintendent said he would look into it. 
Police Chief Abbott reported that he was still having problems with parking along Route 17 because the roads in Harriman State Park remain closed.  He has also been working on the problem in the Lucky Park. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 8, 2020

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshops June 4 & 17

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Town Board Meeting May 27, 2020

The Town Board met virtually via WebEx on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7pm.  Councilmember McMillan was absent.  

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English began the meeting by announcing that a Memorial Day video featuring the May 25 Memorial Day Celebration had been posted on the Town’s YouTube Channel.  He reported that it had been a good, if abbreviated, ceremony and thanked those who took part.  Next, he reported that he and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay had listened to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus’ daily County report on Covid19 (available on Facebook) and repeated some of the latest numbers and information given there.  He emphasized that in order for businesses to reopen, they need to have a safety plan in place as well as a signed, one-page affirmation that they will follow the Governor’s orders about social distancing and masks.  Phase Two is expected to begin on June 9th.  
Councilmember May reported that the Town’s new internet consultant, Civics Plus, had sent out a survey about what people want to see in a new website which had received a large response.  It seems like most people want to see a community calendar and reporting on community events.  
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay announced that Moving Tuxedo Forward would take place virtually on June 20th.  During this event, members of the Economic Development Committee will be making reports on what they’ve been working on to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus as well as State Senator Jen Metzger and State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec.  

Agenda Items:
1.    Discussion – Outdoor Dining – The Board concluded that in order for local restaurants to open for outdoor dining, they would need to have site plan approval from the Planning Board.  The earliest that this would be possible is June 9th.
2.    Waiver for 30 wait to Tuxedo Hospitality (Steve’s Pizza) to upgrade liquor license was unanimously approved.
3.    Resolution of adoption of Moratorium on Development Approval – this is already in place and the Board unanimously approved the extension for 6 months.  
4.    Resolution approving sign permit for Farmer’s Market was unanimously approved.
5.    Resolution to approve Zoning and Planning Board Members to attend training – Since members are required to do a certain number of hours of training on an annual basis, it was decided that they could attend the Town Board’s workshop meetings regarding the upcoming zoning code amendments and that the time spent at those workshops would could toward their training.  

Other Business:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that Engineering Consultant Al Fusco had informed her that all the bids on the proposed installation of the ADA improvements (ramps and automatic doors into the courtroom and upstairs Community Room plus an ADA compliant bathroom installed next to courtroom) were too expensive.  The Town had applied for, and won, a community block grant to pay for this work but the bids way exceeded the amount of the grant.  It was agreed that the Board would send the projects out for rebid but this time separated into the different projects rather than as one project.  

Department Head Reports
Police Chief Abbott reported that the Police Department was working on the hiker parking issues that have been ongoing in the East Village.  Town Clerk Matthews commented that parking by the Lucky (Skate Park) is bad and that the area needs No Parking signs.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department is patching roads and getting ready for roadwork, which will be done in July.  He also commented that the solar company he has been talking to about converting the highway garage to solar energy reached back out to him after seeing the recent upgrade in the Town’s Moody’s rating.  

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola asked for an update on the Post Office land just south of the building (had been looked at for a possible municipal parking lot). He was told that this is still under consideration however the Town will need to find funding for converting the property to a parking lot. Perhaps this might happen in next year’s budget.  

The vouchers were approved and the Board adjourned into an Executive Session to receive advice from Town Attorney Howard Procter regarding a personal issue.
 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 27, 2020

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Covid-19 Update From Supervisor English - Posted 5/23/2020

Orange County is included in the Mid-Hudson region which is expected to re-open with Phase 1 on Tuesday, May 26, provided that we meet the criteria for Contact Tracers. If you or someone you know is interested in helping our region by becoming a Contact Tracer, the following notice contains links for the training process. The notice also includes re-opening guidance and guidelines for businesses.

On behalf of County Executive Steve Neuhaus:

Per Governor Cuomo, the Mid-Hudson Region will be opening on Tuesday, May 26th, contingent upon having the required number of regional contact tracers signed up and certified. To that end, the County Executives in the Region have agreed to be sure that each does what is needed to fully meet this metric. 

If you are willing to be a contact tracer or know someone else who will, please do the following no later than 5:00 pm Monday, May 25th:

  • Volunteers will need to take a free course and the exam from John Hopkins University (link is here). When filling out the online application, it initially shows a fee of $49. A discount is applied upon checkout making it no cost.

· Provide your name and e-mail address to Michael Ventre, Deputy Commissioner of Orange County Health Department (mventre@orangecountygov.com).

· Provide Deputy Commissioner Ventre with a copy of your certification upon completion of the course/test (scan and e-mail, or text or e-mail a photo of it).

· Please note: if you have already done the steps above, you do not need to resubmit the information.

For ore information on:

· Phase 1 of the re-opening, visit https://forward.ny.gov/

· The Empire State Development website has re-opening guidance and guidelines for businesses: https://esd.ny.gov/

  • Contact Tracing:
      • The role of a contact tracer will involve calling people throughout the County who may have contacted a COVID-19 positive individual and collecting and entering data with respect to their whereabouts and individuals they have encountered.
      • To be a contact tracer, New York State requires the completion of an online training and certification program. According to the State, this online course and exam takes five hours; however, most people seem to complete it in roughly an hour. 

 

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshops May 20 & 28

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Resident Survey - New Town Website - Posted 5/17/2020

The Town will be upgrading their website using CivisPles. Before finalizing the contract they would like resident input to see what things people would find useful on the site. Please take a minute and complete the small survey using the link below:

New Town Website Survey

 

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Town Board Meeting May 11, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, May 11, 2020 at 7:00 pm virtually via Web Ex.  All members were present.

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor English began his update by reporting the numbers from County Executive Steve Newhaus’ daily update to Orange County. In regard to reopening Town Hall, which he said would not happen until the Governor gave the go ahead, he reported that he had been working with various members of the Town Hall staff to put together a plan for safely reopening the building.  
Town Board Update:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that she has been involved in working on the plans for Memorial Day, which are still in the beginning phase.  So far, the Committee is leaning toward holding the traditional ceremonies in Southfields and at the Monument in Town.  Any other activities will be postponed until a later date.  
Councilperson May reported that the Town’s new Website consultant, Civics Plus, is in the process of finalizing the survey they will be circulating to help ascertain what features Town residents are looking for on the website.  She also reported on the Town’s thank you video to First Responders and essential; workers that she has been working on.  The video can be viewed on the Town’s You Tube Channel.  
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay announced that Moving Tuxedo Forward would take place on June 20.  At this events the various committee who have been working on the Economic Development will present what they’ve been doing to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, State Senator Jen Metzger and State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec.  This will be done either by video conference or in public if allowed by then.  The public is invited to attend either form of the presentations.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:
1-Resolution to grant Moratorium Waiver to Augusta Properties – This was passed unanimously.  There will be a public hearing on this project at the Planning Board meeting on May 12.
2-Resolution to schedule workshops for Zoning Code/Comprehensive Plan – The Supervisor stated that they are having a hard time finding dates, which work for Board members as well as Town Planner Bonnie Fresno.  They will continue to work on this scheduling via phone.
3-Resolution adopting Final Consolidation Plan – This was unanimously passed.

Department Head Updates:
Police Chief Abbott stated that his department was preparing for another large influx of hikers over the weekend.  They will again be ticketing people who park along Route 17.  There will, however, be free parking available in the lower commuter lot. (on weekends only). The police are also conscious of extra parking in the East Village and will be patrolling the area.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department has finished up tree trimming for the year and will be segueing into more roadwork.   

Vouchers were discussed and approved and the Town Board left to go into an Executive Session to receive advice from Counsel regarding a personnel issue.  When they came back approximately an hour and a half later, they announced two things:
1-the Democratic Primary is back on for June 23rd.  Since this is expected to be a low turnout event, the thinking at this point is to hold it for all districts in the Train Station. Details still need to be finalized with the Board of Elections..
2- the Board has voted unanimously to give Poiice Chief Arthur Abbot a raise in salary to $35,000.  This raise will be retroactive to January 1, 2020.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 11, 2020

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Town Board Zoning Workshop May 4, 2020

Click here to listen to a recording of this meeting

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Agenda for Town Board Zoning Workshop May 4, 2020

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Town Board Meeting April 27, 2020

The Town Board met virtually via WebEx on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present. 

The meeting began with two public hearings:

Public Hearing # 1 – Continuation of Town Village Consolidation:
Town Attorney Marissa Weiss gave a short summary of the Town Village Consolidation plan along with a timeline of how it came to be.  The Plan is available on the Town website.  There were no comments from the public and the public hearing was adjourned.  Written comments sent to the Town Clerk will be accepted through April 30.  The Board will not be holding a second hearing on this matter.

Public Hearing # 2 – Moratorium on Development Approvals:
There were no comments and the public hearing was closed.  Written comments sent to the Town Clerk will be accepted through April 30.  Since the Town must wait to hear from the County before taking action, this will not be voted on until the next meeting. 

The minutes from the April 13 meeting were accepted.

Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor English reported that the Town’s Moody’s rating has gone up two levels.  The Town continues to work with the DEC in regard to the Highway Department site. The site has been secured and they are currently working on a testing procedure and a remediation plan. The reopening of Town Hall will depend upon a sanitation plan.  Shari Brooks is working on finding a contractor to do this work and, once it has been done, they can consider reopening the building.  Councilmembers May and McMillen reported that they have recommended that the Town sign a contract with Civic Plus for the Town’s website and they are very excited about the improvements that will be coming to the website.  Councilmember McMillen recapped the information from the Town’s recent press conference announcing the donation of face masks by Michael Bruno and Cathy Morris as well as from Tuxedo resident Michael Coleman.  These masks will be made available to the police and other first responders in Town as well as Town employees.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay announced that the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has an emergency loan fund of $500,000 available for loans to small businesses that have 25 or fewer employees.  The maximum loan is $10,000 with no interest for 6 months, after which there is a 2% interest rate.  The loan will need to be repaid within 24 months.  Follow these links for more information:
https://www.ocnyida.com/press-release/
https://www.ocnyida.com/funding-corporation/small-business-loan/
She also stated that there would be a workshop meeting on Monday, May 4 at 7 pm to review the zoning code.  Also on Monday May 4, during the day, the Town will hold a pre-bid meeting with interested contractors who wish to work on the ADA projects at Town Hall that the Town has recently received funding for.  She closed with reminding residents to complete and submit census replies. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution regarding 2020 Assessment Roll and Real Property Grievance Process – this was done to comply with the Governor’s order that this be done remotely this year.  Roll will be published on Town website and appointments can be made with Town Assessor.  Grievances will be heard remotely.
  2. Acknowledgement of Sgt. Decker’s retirement – He retires after working for our police department for 15 years.  He will become a part time officer in the future. 
  3. Resolution accepting Towing Licenses – Applications were approved for Tuxedo Gulf, Harriman Auto, C.A.R.S., NJV Auto, Loyal Tire and Apple Auto Body.
  4. Resolution to enter contract with CivicPlus for the Town’s website – The 3 year contract is for $14,250 ($4750 annually)
  5. Revision of terms for members of the Board of Assessment Review – This was done to bring them into compliance with the State.  Henceforth, terms will begin on October 1st and end on September 30th. 
  6. Appointment of Directors to the Board  of the Tuxedo Farms Local Development Corp.­ – This is the LDC that runs the sewer plant.  Supervisor English and Deputy Supervisor Lindsay were appointed.
  7. Resolution for State Aid to Municipalities Grant – This just finalizes the paperwork for Town Hall repairs. (roof)

Public Comments:
There were no comments from the public.  Supervisor English mentioned that people had been concerned about Parks being open and parking on public roads. 

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Town of Tuxedo Press Conference 4/24/2020

The Town Board held a press conference on april 24, 2020 at 12pm for the purpose of fprmally recognizing a donation of face masks from Michael bruno and Town of Tuxedo Resident Michael Coleman.

Click here to to listen

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Moody's Rating Upgraded for Town of Tuxedo!

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Notice of Public Hearing April 27, 2020

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Town of Tuxedo Press Release, April 21, 2020

Town of Tuxedo resident Michael Coleman, has stepped up to assist the Tuxedo town board with 500 protective face masks for our Police Dept. Through his contact with the American Chinese Alliance and the Gratus-cubed INC/Hook & Reel Cajun Group, Mr. Coleman helped secure these much-needed supplies. The Tuxedo town board exhausted many channels in their attempts to secure these items which our police require to perform their roles as first responders and our inventory was approaching critical status until this generous donation was tendered.
The town board would also like to recognize Michael Bruno and Cathy Morris of the Tuxedo Hudson Company/Valley Rock Inn for their in-kind donation of 50 protective masks.
The Town of Tuxedo wishes to thank Mr. Coleman, Mr. Bruno and Ms. Morris for their outstanding efforts and applauds their collective actions to secure these necessary items, which are in short supply through normal government requests. Truly a remarkable citizen led initiative to help protect our police during this outbreak and beyond.
A virtual press conference will be held on Friday April 24th at 12 noon in order to formally thank the donors and accept delivery of these masks.
Press Conference WebEx link – http://bit.ly/townoftuxedo
Or Dial-IN at +1-408-418-9388 Access code: 796 956 205
The Tuxedo Town Board
Ken English – Supervisor Michele Lindsay – Deputy Supervisor David McMillen – Councilperson

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Town Board Meeting April 13, 2020

The Town Board met virtually via WebEx on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English opened the meeting commenting that there is now a new tab on the Town website for Supervisor’s updates.  He added that he and the Board wanted to express their gratitude for the dedication of Town’s department heads and employees for keeping the Town operational. He stated that Town Hall would remain closed until further notice.  Additionally, he thanked employees and residents for organizing and running such efforts as Tuxedo Outreach, Love Thy Neighbor and Tuxedo Salutes Good Sam Heroes. 
The Supervisor then started off the announcement from Board members of the names of those residents who have died from Covid 19.  The Supervisor spoke of Don Blum from Laurel Ridge; Deputy Supervisor Lindsay spoke of Pam Cromey and Councilmember McMillen recognized Joan Berish and Barbara Fasola. 
Continuing on, the Supervisor noted that he had been contacted by Moody’s for an update on the Town’s finances.  He has set up a WebEx call with Moody’s for Wednesday, April 14.  Subjects to be covered during the call are the effects of the economy on the Town, an overview of capital projects, the current state of our finances and cyber security. The Town is in the midst of property tax income, which is the number one source of income for the Town.  Accordingly, the Board has agreed to add $2000 to Assessor Jim Davies budget so he can hire some clerical help through May 31. 
The Supervisor further noted that the Town is continuing to work with the DEC on the consent order on the Long Meadow Rd. property (the Highway Department).  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum has leased a testing machine as requested by the DEC.  The Town will be testing the soil and working with some environmental consultants in order to identify the extent of remediation necessary. 
Finally, he noted that Shari Brooks has found a vendor to sanitize the police station and cars.  This same vendor will be consulted about Town Hall before it is reopened as well as the Highway Department Garage.
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that the April 18 Economic Development Day, which has been titled “Moving Tuxedo Forward,” has been postponed until Saturday June 20.  Confirmation for attendance has been received from Senator Metzger and Assemblyman Brabenec and she is still waiting to hear from County Executive Neuhaus.  Bill Fioranti head of County Economic Development and Amanda Dana head of County Tourism will also be in attendance.  At the meeting, presentations will be given by the committees from the Economic Development Committee. 
The Deputy Supervisor also noted that she has been working with Senator Metzger on the state aid to municipality grant ($100,000) which is for repairs to the roof at Town Hall. 
Councilmember May announced that she and Councilmember McMillen have chosen a company to create the Town’s new website and they will be meeting with them on Thursday, April 16.  Councilmember McMillen also brought up the fact that there is a newly installed construction sign, which is blocking the sight of cars exiting from Southside Place.  He, with the help of Police Chief Abbot will work on ameliorating this situation. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Remind the public of the April 27 Public Hearing on the Town Village Consolidation to be held via WebEx.  A date for a 2nd hearing, if deemed necessary, was set for May 7. 
  2. Adoption of Zoning Code changes: Local Law No. 2 of 2020: Supplemental Regulations to Accessory Parking and Loading -  this was approved unanimously.
  3. Authorization to put the Community Development Block Grant projects out for bid – The Town has been awarded $78,000 in a federal grant fund. This will be used for ADA improvements to Town Hall with projects to include a ramp and entrance to the court room on the ground floor as well as a handicapped bathroom next to the courtroom, improvements to the ramp and entrance to the community room.  Permission to go out to bid has been received from the County and the Board voted unanimously to put the projects out to bid with a bid opening date of 5/11.
  4. Resolution amending Board of Assessment Review Member terms was tabled.
  5. Resolution for Tuxedo Farms LDC (sewer) was tabled
  6. Set Dates for Zoning Code Workshops – This was set for Monday, May 4 at 7pm via WebEx
  7. Introduction of Local Law: Moratorium on Development Approvals – the moratorium expired and the Board failed to renew it so they are starting over.  There will be a public hearing on this law on April 27. 
  8. Accept resignation of part-time police officer Adam Bruce – this was accepted unanimously
  9. Resolution to accept the Stop DWI contract with Police Department – this is done annually.
  10. Resolution to remove DeMarino Trucking from the  Town of Tuxedo property on Longmeadow Rd. This has been mandated by the DEC.  Demarino will required to remove his equipment from the property by Aoril 18.  Councilmember Reichgott stated that he wanted to make it clear that this motion is not stating that DeMarino is NOT part of the problem at this site…this is just so the Town can comply with the DEC order.  The resolution was passed unanimously.

Department Heads Updates:
Town Clerk – Donna Matthews commented that she and Deputy Marisa Dollbaum have been answering phone calls and assuring people that the Town is doing everything they can to keep everyone safe.  There have been a couple of marriages and arrangements have been made for people to bring their information and hand it through the car window where it is received with a glove and processed so that marriage licenses can be issued. 
She also reported to Police Chief Abbot that people have been moving the orange cones currently blocking off the fisherman’s parking lot at the East Village bridge.  The Chief said he would look into it.  Finally,she reported that the junk shop next to the Red Apple has been open. (illegal at the moment) He said he would take care of that as well.
Police Chief Abbot reported that his department has been receiving a lot of medical calls from people who have the virus or suspect that they do.  The police have established a protocol with the ambulance corps where the ambulance medic enters a house first to handle the emergency. 
Public Comments:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay received an email complaining about a high wattage LED streetlight, which has been installed on Hospital Road and is shining right into several homes’ windows.  O&R has been asked to replace this bulb with the lowest possible wattage.  Since this has not happened, she will follow up with O&R.   She also reported that there are women in town who are sewing masks.  If anyone is interested, they should contact either Town Clerk Donna Matthews or Shari Brooks.
Councilmember McMillen thanked Michael Bruno for donating 25 masks to the Town (made by a tailor in Sloatsburg and for sale at Valley Rock) and 25 more will be coming from Cathy Morris. Some have been given to the police and others will be given to the Town Clerk to disperse as she sees fit.
Councilmember May stated that Hank Salzer had donated box of medical masks. They will be given to  Tuxedo Outreach for the volunteers.
Claudia Bakhtiary thanked the police department for the birthday drive-bys for local kids that they have been doing. 
Councilmember McMillen talked about the PSA that he and others have created called “Distance in the Streets.”  The video is on You Tube, and can also be viewed by clicking here.

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting April 13, 2020

This meeting will be held via Webex. Dial-In istructions are included on the agenda.

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Notice of Public Hearing April 27, 2020 - Final Town Consolidation Plan

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Town Board Meeting March 23, 2020

The Town Board met virtually on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm via  WebEx.  All members were present. 

Supervisor Ken English opened the meeting by thanking the Board and especially Deputy Supervisor Michele Lindsay for putting the meeting together as he has not been feeling well for the last couple of days. 

Town Board Updates:
Councilmember May reported that she has been working on collecting information for a possible Town website re-haul. She has identified three different possible companies and is collecting information from them.
Councilmember Reichgott remarked that with everybody home, there are a lot more people than usual out and walking on the roads to get exercise.  He has noticed that many of them are not obeying traffic laws and wants to make sure that everyone knows that the legal and safe way to walk on roads is on the left side facing traffic so that oncoming cars and trucks can see them. 

The minutes from February 24 were unanimously accepted with no corrections

Agenda Items:

  1. Town Village Consolidation Plan Public Hearing was rescheduled for Monday, April 27.  The Board hopes that the hearing can be held in public, but if it can’t, it will be held via WebEx. If people can’t participate via WebEx for any reason, they can always send written comments.  The updated timeline and Consolidation Plan can be found on the Town website.
  2. Resolution to appoint members to Zoning Board of Appeals – Russell Shaver was appointed for a term to expire on 12/31/24 passed 4-1 with Councilmember Reichgott abstaining because he didn’t attend the interview. Ned Kugel was appointed as an alternate to the Zoning Board with a term expiring 12/3/20.  Councilmember Reichgott abstained as he didn’t attend the interview.  Frank Peverly was appointed as Chairman of the ZBA. This last appointment will occur every year. 
  3. Resolution to appoint members to the Board of Assessment ReviewJames Pandice was appointed with a term to expire on 12/31/24.  Edward Brennan was appointed as the Board’s Chairman.  This last appointment will occur every year.  The Board asked Town Attorney Marissa Weiss to prepare a resolution to change the terms of all members of the Board of Assessment Review to expire on September 3 instead of December 31. 
  4. Resolution to grant relief from Building Moratorium ­was granted to Augusta Properties (owner of Orange Top diner, the office building next to it and the Mercantile Building.  This will allow them to go before the Planning Board and the ZBA.

Other Business:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that the Town has received word from the Orange County Planning Board that they have reviewed the proposed changes to the zoning code regarding parking and the business district and see no reason for an objection. 

Department Head Updates:
Councilmember McMillen stated that he has created new tabs on the Town website for both Outreach Tuxedo and Covid-19 where all necessary information and phone numbers can be found. 
Police Chief Abbot reported that the Department had recently received supplies of hand sanitizer, N95 masks and face shields and so they are equipped to answer calls.  The Tuxedo Police Officers are dispatched by the County, who has a new protocol.  Going forward, if someone calls 911 for help, they will be asked if they have been exposed to the virus.  If the Department responds, they will be waiting outside until the ambulance comes unless it’s an emergency (i.e. a heart attack) in which case they will come in and “do what they have to do.”  If someone is sick and the ambulance arrives, they will send one member in to do an assessment and then will come out and report to the others waiting outside.  The Chief also reported he was working with Shari Brooks on getting the station and the police cars cleaned up and sanitized.  So far, they have ascertained that this might take a while and be very expensive so they will see if FEMA or NYSOEM will be able to give the Town a reimbursement for this service.  In addition Chief Abbot said he had received a communication from the Village of Tuxedo Park police who wanted to know if they ran short of officers due to the Corona Virus, whether the Town would be willing to work in the Village? The answer is that this would be alright on a temporary basis but if it was going to be a long term arrangement, they would have to come up with a proposal for a memorandum of understanding. 
John Banyo reported that the Planning Board meeting for 3/24 would be available on WebEx.  Anyone who wants to attend should email Deborah Villanuevo at buildingclerk@tuxedogov.org

Public Comments:
Allison Taylor suggested that call in meetings should be continued post Covid 19
Lili Neuhauser thanked everyone involved in Outreach Tuxedo for all the good work done so far.  She also announced that on March 24 from 1-5pm there will be a food pickup for residents in the Suffern School District and residents of the Town of Tuxedo.  This will take place in the parking lot across the street from the Food Pantry.

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting March 23, 2020

The Town Board will be conducting their scheduled Town Board Meeting via WebEx as the Town Hall is closed for the time being.

 

All interested parties should dial in as follows:

1-650-215-5226

Access Code – 955-592-193

Click here to view the agenda

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Message for Town Supervisor - Posted 3/19/2020

Click here to read the message

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Supervisor English Declares a Local State of Emergency - Posted 3/14/2020

Esteemed Town Board Members, Tuxedo residents, neighbors, and friends,

I, Kenneth English, Tuxedo Town Supervisor, am issuing, effective Monday morning, March 16th, an Executive order that is intended to put into effect the authority to limit access to Town Hall and other Tuxedo Town properties as I, and the Town Board deem necessary. It will also enable us to circumvent procurement policies so that we can contract with a cleaning company to begin sanitizing our properties, especially Town Hall, the Police station, Highway Department, especially the staff lounge areas and places where staff congregate, and other locations we identify.

Department Heads must consider reasonable changes to schedules that may help with the "social distancing" strategy being promoted by our health officials. All efforts to follow CDC sanitary guidelines should be put in place. Frequent and deep hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizer should be the new normal. ANYONE who shows any sign of illness should stay home  and consult their doctor. All Town public meetings are postponed until further notice including Justice Court sessions. Updates will be made available on the Town of Tuxedo official website as necessary. 

Of paramount importance is public safety and the well being of Town employees. I feel it is imperative that we all join together to follow public health guidelines to curtail all public interaction to try to stem the spread of this very contagious disease, and hopefully end this crisis as soon as possible.  We MUST act with urgency. All local businesses and houses of worship should seriously consider actions to keep people from congregating in close proximity. 

We are making every effort to hire a professional cleaning company that specializes in dealing with this type of emergency, a step that I consider essential to considering how we can plan to reopen.

There’s much more to say, to communicate and to consider. I am taking this action to begin setting a cooperative plan in place. Deputy Supervisor Michele Lindsay, and  Councilpersons Dave McMillen, Maria May, and Jay H. Reichgott and I will continue to work together with the very dedicated Town Team to do whatever we can to enhance what our county, state and federal leaders implement. I know that with the support and efforts of residents, we will prevail. A big THANKS to our first responders who always answer the call.

The best way to reach me is by email, at tuxedoenglish@gmail.com

I will make every effort to respond quickly. Town officials can reach me on my cell phone. Please help circulate this notice.

Ken English

Tuxedo Town Supervisor

 

TOWN OF TUXEDO, NY, ORANGE COUNTY

DECLARATION OF LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY

 

A State of Emergency is hereby declared in the Town of  Tuxedo, effective as of 6:00am on Monday, March 20th, 2020.

WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, the Governor of the State of New York declared a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York in response to the outbreak of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency in response to the outbreak of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been document in Orange County, New York and are expected to continue; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Tuxedo is addressing the threat that COVID-19 poses to the health, welfare and safety of its residents and visitors;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Kenneth English, Supervisor of the Town of Tuxedo, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New York, hereby find, pursuant to Section 24 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, that a disaster is impending in the Town of Tuxedo and I do hereby declare a disaster emergency for the entire Town of Tuxedo.

FURTHER, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Section 24(g) of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster, I hereby temporarily suspend or modify the following:

  1. Town of Tuxedo’s Procurement Policies and any associated Local Laws to allow the undersigned or his designee to expand Town funds and resources in the best interest of the Town in connection with the current health disaster.

Said suspension(s) shall run from the date of this Order through Friday, March 20th, subject to extension by further order.  The suspension of the aforesaid policies and Local Laws shall be for the minimum deviation from the requirements of same consistent with the disaster action deemed necessary.

 

IN ADDITION, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 25(1) of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, which states that “[u]pon the threat or occurrence of a disaster, the chief executive of any political subdivision is hereby authorized and empowered to and shall use any and all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of his political subdivision in such manner as may be necessary or appropriate to cope with the disaster or any emergency resulting therefrom,” and in accordance with any applicable provisions in any of the collective bargaining agreements now in effect between the Town of Tuxedo and its representative employee organizations, I hereby direct all Town Department Heads to arrange, modify, or limit the work schedules of their respective departments in such a manner as may be necessary to minimize the risks to Town employees associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak, in accordance with recommendations issued by all relevant medical professionals and/or government agencies.

As Chief Executive of the Town of Tuxedo, I, Kenneth English, exercise the authority vested to me under Section 24 of the New York State Executive Law, to preserve the public safety and hereby render all required and available assistance vital to the security, well-being, and health of the citizens of the Town.  I hereby direct all departments and agencies of the Town of Montgomery to take whatever steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure and provide such emergency assistance as deemed necessary.

 

SO ORDERED ON MARCH 16th, 2020

                                                                                               

                                                                                                Kenneth English

                                                                                                Town Supervisor

 

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COVID-19 Tuxedo Town Board Letter To The Public

Click Here to view the letter

To All Tuxedo Residents, Neighbors, and Visitors.

The Town of Tuxedo is taking serious precautions in halting the spread of COVID-19.  Town Hall is open but please Do Not Enter the Town Hall Building unannounced.  If you call the office we will make appropriate arrangements. We are hopeful we can take care of your needs over the phone, by email or by regular mail.  If your business requires personal attention, Town Hall is open but we ask you to be considerate upon entering. If you’re sick, please stay home. This pertains to all Town Departments: Town Clerk, Court/Traffic Tickets, Planning, Zoning, Building, Assessor, and Town Supervisor. Documents can be left in the drop box to the right of the front door. Please check our website www.tuxedogov.org for informatin abWishing all a safe resolution to this grave emergency.

Tuxedo Town Hall Main Number: 845-351-4411

Court Office: ext. 3  ClaireS@tuxedogov.org

Town Clerk: ext. 4  Townclerk@tuxedogov.org

Building Dept:ext. 6 Buildingclerk@tuxedogov.org

Supervisor’s Office: ext.5 Townsupervisor@tuxedogov.org

Shari Brooks: ext. 5  SBrooks@tuxedogov.org

Assessor’s Office: ext.7  Assessor@tuxedogov.org

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Agenda ForTown Board Meeting March 9, 2020

Click here to view the agenda.

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Town Board Meeting February 24, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, February 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  Deputy Supervisor Lindsay was absent. 

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English reported that he had made a site visit to Quarry Field with Michael Johnson, subcontractor to Con Ed for the Village of Tuxedo Park’s upgrade project.  The subcontractor has requested that they be allowed to park certain vehicles at Quarry Field during the project.  After some discussion among department heads, it was decided that the Town Attorneys would be asked to look over the proposed lease agreement and if all was in order, permission would be granted. 

Town Board Update:
Councilperson May reported that she and Councilperson McMillan are looking at companies to redesign and rebuild the Town website.  They have 3 companies they are talking with. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution-Building Inspector’s vehicle.  – This vehicle has already been approved but the Board wants to purchase it rather than lease.  – passed unanimously.
  2. Resolution to approve the Deputy Town Clerk to attend training – She will be attending the 2020 Town Clerks Association conference and training in Albany – passed unanimously
  3. Budget modifications – were passed unanimously

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum announced that there was mulch, topsoil and stones available for residents to take at Quarry Field. He also reported that he had heard from the DOT, who will be making a site visit to inspect the intersections along 17A to see what can be done to make those safer.  This is in response to several accidents that have occurred there.  The department is still tree trimming and will be doing so until the beginning of April.  They have finished in Maple Brook and are currently working on South Gate Rd.  He also mentioned that the sewer system is having a problem with jamming due to residents flushing disposable wipes and asked that people refrain from doing that. 
Lt. Norton of the Police Department stated that there would be a personnel issue coming up shortly and the police would like a sit down with the Town Board.  He was told they could meet in Executive Session after the regular meeting of the Board on March 9. 

Public Comments:
Henry Heffner from Tuxedo Farms reported that there has been a considerable amount of vandalism on their site.  People are coming on to the site with ATVs and/or quads, making their approach from the Tuxedo side through Mountain Lake.  There has been damage to the water tank and the pump station, where every window was broken and the locks have been broken on all the doors.  He mentioned that he had left a message for Lt. Norton and said he would like to meet with him.  The Lt. responded that the police don’t patrol private property suggesting that perhaps Related should hire a private security company.  Mr. Heffner reiterated that he would like to speak with the Lt. as he would be willing to hire officers when they were off duty.  They agreed to speak on Tuesday afternoon. 

Vouchers were signed and the Board moved into a workshop session where, Supervisor English stated the Board would be reviewing the Town Employee Practices and Compliance Manual. 

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Special Town Board Meeting February 20, 2020

The Town Board held a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 6:00 pm.  All members were present. 

The first order of business was to go into an Executive Session to review personnel matters related to open positions on the Planning Board and Justice Court.  The Board came back into an open meeting at 8:33 pm at which time the following actions were taken:
  

  1. Resolution establishing a list of eligible special prosecutors.  Daniel Castricone and Donald K. Sanford were added to the list of prosecutors for the Town.
  2. Resolution adopting Local Law #1 of 2020 titled Planning Board Membership was approved by a vote of 5-0.
  3. Resolution to appoint Planning Board members to fill vacant seats as follows: 

William Friedlich appointed with a term ending 12/31/2020
Dierdre Murphy appointed with a term ending 12/31/2021 and
Donald Gould appointed with a term ending 12/31/2024
This was approved by a vote of 4-1 with Councilperson McMillen abstaining because he had not interviewed any of the appointees. 

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Tuxedo Town Board Public Notice

The Tuxedo Town Board will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, February 26th, 7:00 pm, in the Community Room at the Town Hall, 1 Temple Dr. and will then convene an executive session to review personnel matters. The executive session is not open for public participation.

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Agenda ForTown Board Meeting February 24, 2020

Click here to view the agenda.

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Tuxedo Town Board Public Notice

The Tuxedo Town Board will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, February 20th, 6:00 pm, in the Community Room at the Town Hall, 1 Temple Dr. and will then convene an executive session to review personnel matters related to open positions on the Planning Board and Justice Court. The executive session is not open for public participation. 

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Town Board Meeting February 10, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

Continuation of Public Hearing to receive comments on Town’s proposed changes to vehicle and traffic law:
There were no further comments from the public.  Supervisor English remarked that the Board had taken “extensive notes” on the comments made at the last meeting and would be considering all of them.   They will also be meeting with a few of the residents from Library Rd. 
Jerry Mottola asked what is the present speed limit on Library Rd.  It is not posted an no one seemed to know the answer for certain. Deputy Supervisor Lindsay commented that since the Town will soon be a consolidated Town/Village, she believes they would be able to lower to the speed limit to 25.  She further said she had received emails stating that commuters are currently parking on Store Road and people are wondering what will be done about that.  She noted that the Town would be looking to put 3-hour time restraints on the parking in that area, which will be consistent with other areas in Town.
The public hearing will be kept open for another month so that everyone wishing to be heard has to opportunity to voice an opinion.

Supervisor English reported that he had received monthly reports from the dog control officer and building inspector. The Building Inspector has been receiving complaints about people leaving garbage cans out in the street.  He is not sure what can be done about this but believes something should be done.  Councilmember McMillen further commented that people seem to be abusing the bulk pickup regulations and adding in construction debris which is not allowed.  When it was suggested that the Board ask the Garbage company for guidance on this, they were told that the garbage company simply does not pick up construction debris and therefore, if it is left out for them, it is left in the street! Since there is currently nothing about this in the Town Code, the Town will have to draft something and officially add it, before they can enforce any sort of regulation.
Chief Abbot reported having received commendations from the Ramapo Police Department for officers Shiloh and Hall for their help after the train/truck accident at Dater’s Crossing.  They also received a commendation for Detective Stefan Christian for his help with a suicidal person. 

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English reported that there had been several meetings about the sewer plant.  As a result, the Town has some new deadlines from the DEC that they have to meet.  The first is to present a schedule for fixing the present plant.  The second deadline is to present a schedule indicating when the Town will take the new sewer plant on line.  This is due by March 31.  The Supervisor commented that he would be holding a meeting with residents and businesses, who use the plant to discuss and explain the issues to them. 
Mr. Pollock of the DEC has agreed to meet with the Sypervisor to review the consent order which is in place for the highway department property.  The Supervisor feels that this property has been a liability to the Town and he would like to figure out how to resolve the remaining problems.   Councilmember May commented that she has started doing research on money that could be made available to help pay for the remaining remediation. 

Town Board Update:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay announced that there would be a meeting on February 12 at 6:30 pm of the Economic Development Committees and the Town Board.  The purpose of the meeting will be for the Committees to tell the Board what they have been working on and to have a discussion as to how all can work together to move their ideas into action. 

 Public Comments on Agenda Items:
John McNamara asked why the conversation regarding the new sewer plant was always described as being “complicated” as he has heard Highway Superintendent Dollbaum say it was only a question of connecting the pipe.  Supervisor English responded that figuring out the users’ fees was actually the complicated part.  Also, Related is not obligated to pay user’s fees until they have a certificate of occupancy on their project.  Also, Councilmember Reichgot interjected that the existing plant, even if they fixed it up, would not meet the current standards for a sewage treatment plant. 
Next, Mr. McNamara stated that up until now, the remediation of the mulch pile etc. at the highway department had cost the Town nothing.  He wanted to know what’s changed so that now it will cost the Town money? The Supervisor responded that all of the problems are still there.  Mary Graetzer interjected that, to be fair, the mulch pile and attendant debris has gone down a lot!  The Supervisor agreed but said there had been a “loose agreement” with the old site monitor (who has since retired) and now they need to make a new agreement with the new monitor. Councilmember McMillen added that since the old monitor left, the Town had hired someone to do an aerial survey to find out just how much still needs to be done.  Also, the Town was required to dig test holes on the site and they found some contamination down at the bottom of the holes.  Therefore, he feels its time to sit down and discuss a new method of remediation. 
John Ruel commented that he remembered being told as part of the Planning Board that to run the new sewer plant at less than capacity would be cost prohibitive.  He was told that this was the problem but that they have found a way to run it at less than full cost, although it is still expensive. The Board wants to know what it would cost to remediate the existing plant. This is what will be discussed with residents and businesses at the meeting referenced by the Supervisor earlier., Mr. Ruel then stated that Warwick Brook always used to be loaded with native brook trout, but now they are not present at all.  He wondered if any testing has been done on that subject.
Agenda  Items:

  1. Resolution to adopt the Town Board’s Consolidation Plan and to set the date for the Public Hearing. – The public hearing will be held during the Town Board meeting on March 23.  Plans are to hold this meeting at the school if it’s available.  A second meeting/public hearing (if necessary) is being scheduled for April 13.  The resolution was passed unanimously and will be available on the Town website eventually. 
  2. Budget modifications – a-Budget modifications for 2019 were unanimously passed.  b-$59,000 was approved for repairing the highway department roof.
  3. Resolution to grant Tuxedo Hudson Company relief from the building moratorium for their amended site plan.-The site plan is amended to include accessory parking at the “Junction site” which will give them the ability to use the entire first floor of their building.
  4. Resolution to approve Town Prosecutor’s rate of pay – The new Prosecutor will be paid $200 per session.  The old prosecutor was being paid $150 per session.

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottola wondered if the new sewer plant was opened any time soon, how many modules would be used.  He was told it would likely only be one module. 
Dale Mottola mentioned seeing a reference in the Times Herald Record to a program called Hope Not Handcuff Hudson Valley.  This is a program that trains police to deal with opioid and other drug problems, which she thought might be valuable.  

Vouchers were signed and the Town Board went into a workshop session to discuss policies such as credit card policy and insurance policy.  These policies have all been approved through the reorganization document. 

 

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Agenda ForTown Board Meeting February 10, 2020

Click here to view the agenda.

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Tuxedo Town Board Fills Open Seat With Reichgott

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Town Board Meeting January 27, 2020

The Town Board met on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm.   All members were present.

The meeting began with Supervisor English swearing in new Councilmember Jay Reichgott.  Mr. Reichgott has been appointed to serve out the remainder of Supervisor English’s council term, which will be up on 12/31/20. 

Public Hearing Zoning Code Amendments in the Hamlet Business District:
The Supervisor opened the public hearing by explaining that the  amendments were being proposed because the present code links the amount of parking spaces available to a business to the amount of square feet in their space.  The Board feels that this severely limits what can be done with some spaces in Town especially in the former IGA building (now Tuxedo Hudson Realty)
The following two amendments have been proposed:

  1. Change parking stall size from 10‘ X 20’ to 9’ X 18’.
  2. Amend code for accessory parking and loading. Exemption for existing buildings with site constraints.  Add existing commercial properties in the Hamlet Business District.

Additionally, engineers have put together a conceptual drawing of a preliminary plan, which can be viewed here
Many people spoke expressing their concerns about the plan. To listen to the public hearing, click here.

As the plans are currently in the conceptual phase, there will likely be many changes made before the Board elects to move forward.  This was reiterated several times throughout the hearing.

Appointment of Town Historian:
Supervisor English reappointed George Langberg as Town Historian. 

Tuxedo Union Free District presentation on Capital Bond Project:
Superintendent Tim Bohlke introduced District architect Chris Ladanyl of Clark Patterson & Lee, who began his presentation by explaining that every five years New York State requires school districts to have an inspection of their buildings and draft a Buildings Condition Survey, which is essentially a list of work that needs to be done with priority levels.  Clark Patterson & Lee did this work and submitted their report to the School Board in 2018.  The original estimate for work was $7 million, but the School Board spent 2 years assessing the various recommendations and managed to reduce the cost of the project down to $4.2 million.  The project now contains items deemed essential for the health and safety of the school.  The Board has decided to take $1.2 million out of their reserve funds in an effort to reduce tax burden, which leaves $3 million to be raised by the bond.  The Bond will come before the tax payers in a vote on February 25. 
Improvements have been proposed for all three buildings in the district.  To see what has been proposed for each building, click on the following links:

George F. Baker High School, George Grant Mason Elementary School, John P. Mottola Gymnasium.

Additionally, the architects have put together some information detailing the estimated tax impact based on assessed property value.  Click here to view that information. In an effort to make this more relatable for taxpayers, the District has put together additional information detailing the estimated tax impact based on recent home sales in many of the different  District neighborhoods (The Woodlands, Hamilton Estates,  Maple Brook, The Hamlet, The Village of Tuxedo Park, etc)  Click here to view that information.
 
There will be further opportunities to see the school’s presentation and ask questions on Thursday February 6 at 6pm and Saturday, February 22 at 10am.  Both of these presentations will take place in the community room at the high school. 

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor English stated that he is in the early stages of putting together an event where State Senator Metzger, Assemblyman Brabebec and County Executive Neuhaus, will come to Tuxedo and meet with Board members and members of the public.  All three officials have agreed to this.  The proposed date is April 18.  The event would take place  in the multipurpose room at George Grant Mason Elementary School.
The Supervisor also announced that the Town has received the certificate of incorporation for the consolidated Town Village.  The next step in the process is for the Town Board to adopt a final plan for running the Town Village. The plan is scheduled to be adopted at the next Town Board meeting on February 10.  Once adopted, the plan will be published both in the newspaper for 4 weeks as well as on the Town website.  This will be followed by a required series of public hearings.
The DEC has told the Town that they need to get the new sewer plant (for the Hamlet sewer district) up and running.  This needs to happen in the near future so the Town will need to work together with Related and residents in the district to figure out how to make this happen. 
The Supervisor took a tour of the Highway Department and was impressed with what he saw. 
Tuxedo Police were dispatched to help with the traffic control after the train/tractor trailer accident at Dater’s Crossing in Sloatsburg. Supervisor English commended them for their participation.  He also commended Officer Stefan Christian who responded to a stabbing in Ramapo and was first on the scene. 
Lastly, the Supervisor reported that he had a meeting with Andrew Dance of Related Companies at which they discussed the sewer plant as well as Tuxedo’s interest in getting something going with the property. The Supervisor told Mr. Dance that closing the school was not something that he wanted to hear about and was told that they would come back with a plan representing  something they could do at the site.  

Town Board Update:
Deputy Supervisor Lindsay reported that the next meeting of the Economic Development Committee would be a meeting of the full committee on February 12 at 6:30.  At that time, they will receive reports from all the various subcommittees and then discuss how they will be working together and with the Town Board going forward. 
The Climate Smart Task Force will also be meeting on February 12.
Councilmember McMillen inquired where the Board stood with information about the DEC monitor at the Highway Department.  He was told that they are still waiting to hear from the DEC. 

Supervisor English next called for a moment of silence for retired Highway Superintendent Ed Pfizenmaier, who died last week.  

Next on the agenda was the annual Reorganization document which was approved as follows:

Annual Town Reorganization:

The following positions were appointed by the Supervisor:


Supervisor’s Clerk

Shari Brooks

Account Clerk

Brian Sullivan

Deputy Supervisor

Michele Lindsay

Marriage Officer

Donna Matthews

Summer Camp Director

Shari Brooks

The following positions were appointed by the Town Clerk:


Deputy Town Clerk

Marisa Dollbaum

Deputy Registrar

Marisa Dollbaum

 

The yearly salaries were approved for the following Town Officials:


Supervisor

Ken English

$ 36,856.00

Town Councilmember

Michele Lindsay

$   7,250.00

Town Councilmember

Maria May

$   7,250.00

Town Councilmember

David McMillen

$   7,250.00

Town Councilmember

Jay Reichgott

$   7,250.00

Town Justice

Shaun Brown

$ 26,808.00

Town Justice

Alyse Terhune

$ 26,808.00

Receiver of Taxes

Donna Matthews

$   3,000.00

Receiver of Taxes

Marisa Dollbaum

$   3,000.00

Town Clerk

Donna Matthews

$ 61,100.00

Superintendent of Highways

Rob Dollbaum

$ 93,784.00

Supervisory Court Clerk

Claire Squillini

$ 52,451.00

Justice Clerk

Patricia Marsh

$ 33,270.00

Justice Clerk

Barbara Ginley

        $19.67/hr

Supervisor’s Clerk/Recreation Coordinator/Permit Coordinator

Shari Brooks

$ 55,259.00

Account Clerk

Brian Sullivan

$35,000.00

Budget Officer

Ken English

No compensation

Assesor

Jim Davies

 $30,900.00

Board of Assessment Review Chairman

 

   $1,630.00

Board of Assessment Review Member

 

       $566.00

Deputy Town Clerk

Marisa Dollbaum

$  18,720.00

Dog Control Officer

Thomas Murphy

    $8,219.00

Clerk/Typist Highway Dept.

Michelle Reed

        $15.45/hr.

Fire Inspector/Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer/Flood Damage Ptreention Administrator

David Maikisch

$  62,103.00

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Charles Jones

12/31/24

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Jeffrey Dowding

12/31/i20

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Gardiner Hempel, jr.

12/31/22

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Edward J. Brennan, Jr

12l31l22

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Todd J. Darling

12/31/23

Board of Fire Commissioners Member

Peter Dedel

12/31/23

Zoning Board of Appeals, Chairman

 

$     1,710.00

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

 

$     1,237.00

Planning Board/Chairman

 

$     6,222.00

Planning Board/Member

 

$     2,824.00

Highway Dept. Employees

 

As per contract

Town Finance Consultant

Andrew Arias

$   24,000.00

Town Counsel

Jacobowitz and Gubits

$   50,000.00

Town Engineers

H2M

As per contract

Town Auditor

Andrew Arias

$   19.750.00

Planning Board Legal Consultant

Richard Golden

As per contract

Town Planner

Bonnie Franson

As per contract

ZBA Legal Counsel

 Richard Golden

As per contract

Engineering Consultant

 Fusco Engineering

As oer contract

 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

 

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Agenda ForTown Board Meeting January 27, 2020

Click here to view the agenda.

Click here to view the Notice of Public Hearing

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Town Board Meeting January 13, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present. 

The meeting started with the oaths of office being taken by Supervisor Ken English, Councilmember Michele Lindsay and Councilmember Maria May.  Immediately following Councilmember Lindsay’s oath, Supervisor English appointed her Deputy Supervisor.  Following the oaths, Town Clerk Matthews read a letter from Town Justices Brown and McCathern congratulating the new Board and expressing their desire to work with them.  The Supervisor then thanked everyone for the support, confidence and trust they have given him.  He said he is excited about the possibilities for the Town that the Board would be working to reimagine the vision for Tuxedo over the next several years. He is confident that they will be able to “dream big” and “imagine something greater” as they work to strengthen and protect the Town with “pride and excitement.” He ended by saying that he was looking forward to working together with everyone.  Councilmember Lindsay also thanked everyone for their support and mentioned how much she had enjoyed meeting so many people during the campaign.  She said she was very optimistic about the work ahead.  She feels that everyone can work together to move the Town forward, futher noting that it doesn’t matter what neighborhood someone lives in as we all “live in a beautiful town.”  She pledged to create a more cohesive community. She believes that a better community can be created by promoting economic growth, which is something she has been trying to do over the last few years.  She announced that the Supervisor would be introducing plans for traffic and parking which should make development easier and more attractive for potential businesses. She went on to say that one of the most important tasks for the year ahead would be to strengthen the comprehensive plan so that it captures everyone’s vision. Afterwards, the Board will update the zoning code to implement the vision.  She added that the Board is also hoping to work with The Related Companies to get Tuxedo Farms up and running.  Finally, she mentioned the importance of continuing to work on Climate Smart Certification.  Councilmember May remarked that she was humbled and honored to be a member of the Board and felt both anticipation and excitement for what lies ahead.  She observed that Tuxedo is a Town that no one wants to leave and that she wants to help make it a Town that entices new families to move in as well as a Town where seniors can afford to stay.  She pledged to work hard to see that Tuxedo is no longer a “Town of No” but a Town that no one wants to leave. Councilmember McMillen commented that he was in his sixth year on the Town Board.  When he first started the Town was hobbled by having a million dollar deficit.  The former Board worked hard to make necessary cuts and finally now the Town is back in decent financial shape.  The vision of the Board has always been what his fellow Board members mentioned tonight, but they have not been able to execute it without the financial stability that the Town now enjoys.  He added that he looks forward to better times on the Board where all can be positive instead of having to focus on tightening their belts. 
Supervisor English next introduced Engineer Al Fusco who was authorized in December to put together a traffic study for the Hamlet area with the goal of improving traffic flow as well as parking.  Mr. Fusco presented his proposed plan, which he noted, was just a beginning.  He feels it would be a good start as it can be done relatively quickly and inexpensively.  Basically, the plan calls for changing the direction of one-way traffic on Store Road so that the traffic would flow to the South instead of the North. (it currently flows north towards the library)  On street parking would be allowed on both sides of that road.  It would also be allowed on the lower side of Library Road (the side without houses).  Store Road would be milled and repaved with curbs installed.  Landscaping would be worked in in appropriate spots. It is recommended that the speed limit be lowered on both Library and Store roads to 20 mph.  The plan also proposes to make the exit from the old IGA property a right turn only. 
Councilmember Lindsay commented that having Route 17 as a main street was a detriment to the Town.  This plan would try to change that to make Store Road the “new Main Street” A public hearing on this subject will be held soon.  As part of this project, changes need to be made to the traffic and zoning codes.  These will be part of a new proposed law.  This will be reviewed by the town’s attorneys and presented at the public hearing as part of the traffic plan. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Joe Coleman from Assemblyman Brabenec’s office spoke and offered his congratulations to the new Board members further commenting that the Assemblyman wanted to work together with the new Board. 
Claudia Bakhtiary thanked Town Clerk Matthews for sending out the agendas in advance of the meetings. 
Sue Scher echoed her gratitude for the agenda and said she was also pleased to see the minutes of the last meeting.
John McNamara congratulated the newly elected Board members and wished them all good luck.  He also gave thanks to recent Supervisor Mike Rost for all the work he did to get the Town to where it is. 

Agenda Items:
The following resolutions were discussed and approved:
   1-a Resolution to enter into contract with the Woodbury Field and Stream Shooting Range and the Tuxedo Police.  Police Chief Abbot explained that historically this agreement was had been voted on every 2 years but this new proposal is for 4 years, which he feels is a good thing. 
   2-Set date for public hearing – Amendments to Zoning Code and Vehicle and Traffic Law – The hearing will be held on January 27 at 7 pm.
  3-a Resolution to fund training for elected officials both in Albany and New York City;
  4 – Approval of Raffle Sale – Onyx and Breezy Foundation will be holding their annual fundraiser.

Department Heads Update:
Town Clerk Matthews announced that she had received a new timeline for the Town Consolidation process which is available on the Town website. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that he has mulch, compost and topsoil  available to town residents at the Quarry Field parking lot.  The Highway Department is working on their high trimming around Town with the help of a rented bucket truck. 
Several residents of Brammertown/Benjamin Meadow Road (Colin Grant, Mary Yrizzary and others) commented on the recent changes/improvements to those roads, which have resulted in traffic slowing down and travel made much safer for everyone.  

Public Comments:
Janet Galuska thanked everyone in Town for their help and effort in getting the resent Town consolidation through.
Mary Graetzer inquired if there were any plans to replace the recently installed road signs, which erroneously identify Mapplebrook Road. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum responded that 2 signs had been done wrong with misspellings, both Maplebrook (Mapplebrook) and Tobin Way (Toobin Way) and that he had requested they be redone but he got them back exactly the same way!  He just recently received the proper Maplebrook signs and is still waiting for Tobin Way. 

Other Business:
Councilmember McMillen asked Town Attorney Weiss if she had seen any response to the request for a permanent monitor at the highway department.  She replied that she had sent it out and would send a second request. 

Vouchers were signed with Councilmember McMillen commenting that in the past 4 years, the amount of vouchers had been reduced by a factor of 4.  He added that this was due to the good work of Mike Rost and the prior board.  The meeting was then adjourned into an executive session to discuss a personnel matter and to review the update to the Consolidation Plan with the attorney

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting January 13, 2019

Click here to view the agenda.

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Town of Tuxedo Recruiting to Appoint Member to Town Board

The Town of Tuxedo is seeking qualified applicants for consideration for appointment to the Town Board seat vacated through the election of Councilperson Ken English as Town Supervisor. Applicants must be 18 years of age, a Town or Village resident and a US citizen. If you are interested in serving the public to help set the direction of Tuxedo’s future, then consider turning your concerns into action.
The Town Board meets twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday. Board Member’s salary is $7,250. Let 2020 be your year to get involved. For more information send a message expressing your interest to TownBoardTuxedo@gmail.com by December 20.
Interviews will begin in early January.

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Town Board Meeting December 9, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, December 9, 2019.  Supervisor Rost was absent.

Deputy Supervisor McMillen opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Former Supervisor John McCarthy and long time Town resident Louis DeBrino both of whom passed away recently.

Public Hearing on proposed Woodlands Sewer rates:
There is no change in the rate and there were no comments so the hearing was closed. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to Approve the Woodlands Sewer Rate- was approved unanimously.
  2. Resolution reappointing Charles Jones as Fire Commissioner  - the term to run from 1/1/20 – 12/31/24 was approved unanimously.
  3. Resolution authorizing Jacobowitz & Gubits to prepare an amendment to zoning code changing parking stall size from 10’ X 20’ to 9 ‘ X 18’.   Was passed unanimously. A public hearing will be held.
  4. Resoluution authorizing Jacobowitz & Gubits to prepare an amendment to the zoning law to provide for on street parking in the Hamlet Business District specifically  on Library Rd., Hospital Rd., and Store Rd.  was passed unanimously. Also, a resolution to authorize the Town’s engineering consultant, Al Fusco to review the capacity of said roads to accommodate on street parking was passed.  Existing commercial buildings would be allowed to count on street parking toward their required spaces.  A $5000 cap was put on the engineering services. 

 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay reported having received, during a photo op at the Train Station, a check from County Executive Neuhaus in the amount of $4999 to be used for tourism.  It will be used for encouraging residents to engage with State Parks and outdoor recreation possibilities.  Specifically, Councilmember Lindsay said it would be used for a shuttle bus and a marketing plan.    She also announced that the NYNJ Trail Conference has installed new trail signs in the East Village.  She further noted that the issue of parking for hikers still needs to be addressed. 

Department Heads Update:
Lt. John Norton reported 2 recent rescues from the Parks.  He also announced that a contract has been signed with Orange County for radios with better connectivity and communications.  All communications will be transferred to the new system. 

Public Comments:
Planning Board Chair Mike Reardon urged the Town to use Engineer Sean Hoffman from H2M to review the proposed parking changes suggesting that he was the most qualified to do the work.  He also strongly recommended that if they were going to make changes to the parking in Town, these changes should be made for the whole Town and not for just 3 streets in the middle of Town as he feels this would be opening a can of worms. 
Janet Galuska asked for an update on the Town Consolidation.  Town Attorney Marissa Weiss responded saying that all is on schedule and that a more specific update will be prepared for the Town website. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting December 9, 2019

Click here to view the agenda.

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Notice of LDC Meeting December 2, 2019

*This meeting was postponed until 12/9/19 at 6pm due to inclement weather

Click here to view the notice.

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Special Town Board Meeting November 19, 2019

The Town Board met on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost and Councilmember Reardon were absent.

Deputy Supervisor McMillen stated that the Board was there to pass the budget and to over ride the tax cap for 2020.  The reason for the tax cap must be overridden is that the Tuxedo Farms sewer district has recently been brought onto the tax roll.  For the past 2 years, Tuxedo Farms has been billed $1.9 million dollars annually as payment for the debt service on the bonds issued to pay for the plant. Every year, Tuxedo Farms has paid this bill.  Now the repayment must be 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 has stated that they will, as they have every year in the past, pay the bill in January so, other than raising the cap, there will be no affect to any resident’s tax bill.  Historically there has been a reward program, which rewarded residents with a rebate when the Town stayed under the tax cap, but that program has expired so the residents would not have received that rebate under any circumstances. Exceeding the Town’s tax cap will not affect any resident’s STAR rebate as that has to do with School District taxes and not the Town taxes. 

Public Hearing to receive comments on Local Law #5 of 2019 – Override the 2020 Tax Cap Limit: was held and followed by

Resolution-Local Law to Override the 2020 Tax Cap Limit was passed unanimously by the Board.

A Resolution to Adopt the Final Town Budget: was passed unanimously. 

Click here to view an explanation of the tax cap override

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Notice of Public Hearing November 19, 2019

Click here to view the notice.

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting November 19, 2019

Click here to view the notice.

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Town Board Meeting November 12, 2019

The Town Board met on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the Courtroom.  Supervisor Rost and Deputy Supervisor McMillen were absent.  Councilmember Lindsay ran the meeting.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to Schedule Public Hearing on Woodlands Sewer Budget: This was scheduled for November 18 at 7:00 pm
  2. Resolution to Schedule Public Hearing on Hamlet Sewer District and Tuxedo Farms Sewer District: This was scheduled for November 18 at 7:00 pm
  3. Resolution to Adopt Town of Tuxedo Sexual Harassment Policy: All Board Members and employees attended a recent training session on this.  It was unanimously adopted. 
  4. Resolution to Adopt 2020 Budget: This was tabled until November 18 – The proposed budget is presently under the 2% tax cap.

Other Business:

  1. Discussion of Orange County Long Range Transportation Plan –   Councilmember Lindsay commented that this plan has been in circulation for a while now.  The comment period will end on November 16 and a link will be provided on the Town Website.  Some of the comments made by Board members were as follows:  Councilmember Lindsay wants to see more bus and train service in Tuxedo; would like to see a train to Stewart Airport added; the complete street program (funded by the County) Councilmember English  wants to see work on the one seat to Penn Station program.  Tuxedo has been listed as having one of the longest commutes; since it was mentioned that an average of 4 freight trains run through Tuxedo every day, he would like to know what kind of cargo is being hauled on those lines. He further wants to see discussion about bike paths and a connection to the bike paths in Monroe as well as better access to the Ramapo to increase tourism.   Councilmember Reardon mentioned that she knows it isn’t in Orange County but she is very concerned about how traffic will work around the Woodmont Hills development just outside of Sloatsburg.  Everyone in our Town and County will likely be bottlenecked because of this.   Councilmember Lindsay added that this plan highlights what will happen here until 2045 so they need to take a good long look at it.  Jerry Mottola asked if there was any chance to ask for the addition of Exit 15B off the Thruway.  Claudia Bahktiary wants to see consideration of a small bus line that could help to get potential employees into Town for our businesses.  
  1. Budget Update has been tabled until November 18.  Mary Graetzer asked if the Board could talk about what changes they had made to the budget in the interest of transparency.  She was told it would be presented at the next meeting. 
  2. Update and Approval for Preliminary Parking Plan for US Postal Service Lot – Jerry Mottola along with Tuxedo Postmistress Christine, Town Engineer Al Fusco and Councilmember Lindsay have been discussing plans for using the lot between the Post Office and the Liquor Store parking lot for municipal parking.  The Post office is interested in doing this project.  It is likely that the property would be leased to the Town.  Still to be negotiated is who would be responsible for what work and who would pay for the work as well as what the lease payments would be.  The next step is to develop a letter of intent to be signed by both the Post Office and the Town.  Town Attorney Protter will work on this. 
  3. Discussion of Comprehensive Plan Town Attorney Protter apprised the Board that the only thing left to be done for the Plan was  to complete the section about cell towers.  Councilmember Reardon commented that this has been going on for a “very long time,” and, at this point, she feels it is a deterrent for new businesses wanting to come to Town.  She would be in favor of adopting the plan in its current form and then adding the cell tower regulations as an amendment once they have been completed.  Councilmember Lindsay stated that she felt the Town needs another workshop to bring everyone up to date on what has already been accomplished and agreed upon.   Next, the Board will need to schedule a public hearing and then the plan will go to Orange County for their review. 
  4. Discussion Planning Board was tabled.

 

Department Head Update:

Highway Supervisor Dollbaum reported that his department is in the process of picking up leaves.  As long as the leaves are out there, they will continue picking them up until we get a serious snow or the leaves freeze to the ground.  He recommends that anyone who hasn’t already put their leaves out should do it soon.  They are also getting equipment ready for the winter season. 
Building Inspector Maikisch was present with Steve Germano who had appeared earlier that evening at the Planning Board for approval of a parking lot and accessory garage in the parcel just south of his restaurant, which he recently purchased.  He is looking for a waiver of the building moratorium.  This was granted.
Police Chief Abbott reminded everybody that as of November 1, there is no parking on Town roads when any snow or ice is present.  The Chief also gave a brief update on changes being made by the NY District Attorney for prosecution procedures. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember English reported that at the request of resident Colin Grant, a site visit to the intersection of Brammertown and Benjamin Meadow Rds had taken plance.  This is a site where a plethora of accidents has occurred.  It was determined that excessive speed is definitely a factor in this location.  The Town is working on a fix for this, most importantly installing a stop sign and warning signs to get people to slow down. 
Councilmember Lindsay announced that she has been informed that if Orange County gets the necessary money, the Town of Tuxedo will be awarded $78,000 from a block grant to work on ADA improvements to Town Hall.  Projects would include a ramp into the courtroom, an automatic door for the ramp into the Community Room from outside and an ADA compliant bathroom.
Councilmember English asked Town Attorney Protter for an update on the Town Consolidation process.  He replied he had sent such an update recently.  To view a copy of the update, click here.

Public Comments:
Marty Levanhar congratulated Councilmembers English and Lindsay as well as Maria May on their election victory. 
Mary Graetzer wanted to know if the proposed post office lot parking area would be for general municipal parking or for a specific purpose.  She was told that the PO would have a specific area of the lot for their employees but the remaining would be general municipal parking, as opposed to more commuter parking. 
Dale Mottola inquired as to how Councilmember English’s seat would be filled after he becomes Supervisor.  Town Attorney Protter responded that the seat would be filled by Board appointment.  The appointed term would last until the next election and then any time remaining would be voted on by the public. 
Irene Denaro also congratulated Councilmembers English, Lindsay and Maria May.  She went on to say that what she really wanted to discuss was the “disgusting postcards” that she had received in the mail.  These remarks were made while looking directly at Mary Graetzer, who spoke up and stated emphatically that she had nothing to do with the cards.  Ms. DeNaro then continued that she had seen Mrs. Graetzer at the Town Board meeting on October 28 with a folder containing one of the cards.  Town Clerk Donna Matthews quickly spoke up and stated that she had been the one to bring the card in as she had just received it in the mail.  Ms. DeNaro reiterated how disgusting and offensive she found the card.  Councilmember English stated that he was looking forward to moving past this although he appreciated Ms. DeNaro’s concern.  Everyone agreed it was nasty and that the community needs

to find a way to move on.  Councilmember Lindsay stated that the card, which had been directed at her, was libel and that is a criminal offense.  She noted that the Board of Elections is looking into the matter.
Town Clerk Matthews then asked if there were any veterans present and wished the one person who raised his had a Happy Veteran’s Day.

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting November 12, 2019

Click here to view the agenda.

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2019 Election Results

Supervisor:
Ken English - 591
Mike Rost - 342

Town Council:
Michele Lindsay - 538
Maria May - 492
Chis Dollbaum - 420
John McNamara - 366

Town Clerk:
Donna Matthews - 629

Highway Superintendent:
Rob Dollbaum - 581

Library Budget - Passed

Congratulations to the winners!

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Town Board Meeting October 28 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, October 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm.   Supervisor Rost and Councilmember Reardon were absent. 

Deputy Supervisor McMillen opened the meeting saying that they would hold a public hearing on the 2020 Town Budget however, he added the Board was still working on the budget. He said he didn’t want to comment on what the tax increase would be, however his goal was working toward keeping the increase at the state mandated cap or under.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English agreed.  He then asked Town Attorney Protter what date they were required to file the budget.  The answer was November 1. It was pointed out that the Preliminary Budget had been available to everyone on the Town website since September 30..   The Deputy Supervisor suggested that the Board needed to have another workshop on the subject.  The Board unanimously agreed that they would need to have Account Clerk Brian Sullivan present at the meeting to answer questions about the budget.  After much conversation, the Board decided to hold the required public hearing as scheduled and then to hold a workshop meeting on Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 pm with publlc participation so that the public could ask any questions they might have about the budget.

Public Hearing to receive comments regarding the 2020 Preliminary Budget:
John McNamara stated that he wanted to express his support for the budget as posted to the website, further commenting that he appreciated the fact that the increase would be held to the cap imposed by the State. 
Maria May had a question about an increase under Parks in the preliminary budget.  It was explained that this is just an accounting procedure which is refining reallocations that have already taken place.  In this case, there is a corresponding decrease in the highway budget.
As there were no further questions from the public, the hearing was then closed.

Deputy Town Supervisor Update:
Deputy Supervisor McMillen announced that Jerry Mottola has been instrumental in arranging for the Post Office to consider letting the Town use their unused additional property for municipal parking.
Next, in regard to the Tuxedo Farms project,  the Deputy Supervisor and Building Inspector Dave Maikisch explained that there was a Third Party complaint that Related had been bringing in contaminated soil to spread on their East Terrace property.  Mr. Maikisch issued a stop work order.  Related has been cooperating with the Building Inspector. Town Engineer Sean Hoffman has said he feels that they should go a step further and retest the soil.  The Board has agreed to follow his recommendation and the retesting will take place. 

Agenda Items:

  1. A Resolution to grant Special permit for Our Lady of Guadalupe Torch Relay Run – This is an annual request and it was unanimously approved. This year’s run will take place on December 7.
  2. A Resolution to grant permission for a lease to buy agreement for 3 vehicles (2 for police department, 1 for building inspector) from the State bid was not passed because the Board didn’t have the complete lease agreement.  Ultimately, the Board passed a resolution authorizing the procurement  of 3 vehicles off of State bid for an amount not to exceed $130,600 over 3 years pursuant to a lease. 

Other Business:
Representatives from the Watchtower presented their request for relief from the building moratorium. They are looking to relocate their audiovisual department closer to International Headquarters which is on Long Meadow Rd (in the Town of Warwick) and have applied to Rockland County for approval to build.  They are looking for “support space” for the building project, which they are proposing to locate near their property at the old International Paper property.  They would like to put in 120 temporary modular units, which would house volunteers working on the project.  They were seeking the Board’s permission to apply to the Planning Board for approval.  Construction of the audiovisual department is scheduled to start in 2022 and finish in 2026.  They would like to start construction on the modular units as soon as possible.  Eventually, the motion to grant them permission to go to the Planning Board was made, seconded and approved. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay read a letter from State Senator Jen Metzger in which she said she had allocated $100,000 to the New York State and Municipal Facilities Capital program for the replacement of the Tuxedo Town Hall roof. 

Public Comments:
Irene Denaro remarked that she found it really pleasant to see Councilmembers English, Lindsay and McMillen working well together.
Mary Graetzer asked if the Town was still paying for the DEC monitor despite the fact that no one has been on site or available since August?  She was told yes, the Town is still paying the $15,000 fee.  When she asked what would happen if the Town simply stopping sending payments, she was told that they would be found out of compliance. 
Janel Galuska asked where the Town stood on the Consolidation process.  She was told that everything has been filed with the Department of State and the Town is just waiting for the final review.  Town Attorney Protter expects that the Town will hear something within the next 2-3 weeks.  He will write something to go on the website clarifying the process so residents will be up to date. 
Building Inspector Maikisch asked for clarification on what was happening with a dirt berm on the west side of Contractors Rd.  The berm has been there for about 20 years and there is some confusion as to who asked for it to be built and why.  The Board will continue to investigate this.
Jerry Mottola wondered what was happening with the State DOT coming to clear the brush around the speed limit signs at the South end of Town on Route 17.  He was told that calls have been made to the DOT but there has been no action so far.  The Town has been told that they cannot clear the brush themselves. 

Vouchers were signed and the Board adjourned into Executive Session to receive advice from the Town Attorney.

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting October 28 2019

Click here to view the agenda.

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Notice of Public Hearing for The Preliminary 2020 Town Budget October 28, 2019

Click here to view the notice.

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Town Board Meeting October 15, 2019

The Town Board met on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost was absent and Councilmember Reardon attended via phone.  

Deputy Supervisor McMillen started the meeting by asking for a moment of silence for Michael Marusich, Town resident and 3- year employee of the Highway Department who died recently.

Deputy Supervisor Update:
Explaining that he had been authorized by the Town Board to do so, Deputy Supervisor McMillen commented that he had given Michael Marusich an award of a key to the Town a couple of weeks ago.  He read into the record the letter, which accompanied the award.
The Deputy Supervisor next reported that the Town Board had met on Friday, October 11 at the Highway Department to do a walk through of the property encompassing the mulch pile and related things that are being cleaned up there.  He went on to remark that the DEC has not had a monitor on the site since August 2, when the last monitor retired, and they have not been responsive to calls or emails from the Town.   Since the Town is paying for a monitor (mandated in the consent order) the Deputy Supervisor has asked the Town Attorney to write them a letter requesting that they send someone and also to explain several aspects of their reports.  As a consequence of this, the Town has essentially ceased cleanup efforts at the site until they get a reply from the DEC. The Town Engineer has suggested that the Town should apply for a modification to the Consent Order as almost everything has been taken care of most with the exception of the “greater dirt pile.”    

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Jim Hays commented that he had read the contract between the Town and Perfect Cut and it said that if Perfect Cut violated any DEC regulations, they would be responsible to pay for remediation.  Thus, he wondered why they weren’t paying for the cleanup?  Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that Perfect Cut is paying but it is a slow process. Perfect Cut was ultimately found to be responsible for the cleanup by the courts, but they subsequently complained that they didn’t have access to the site.  So, the Town has been taking some of Perfect Cuts’ assets (a dump truck and a loader for example) and selling them and then putting the money back into the highway department fund.  While Perfect Cut is still in business, there are many liens (not just from Tuxedo) on the business so it is difficult to collect what is due to the Town. 
Betty Langberg wondered if there were still trucks going in and out of the Highway property and if so what they were doing?  She was told that Ben Veltidi has a contract with the Town to make mulch and remove it from the site.  Also, Erwin DeMarino has been working there making topsoil and removing it from the site.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen commented that Mr. DeMarino does not have a contract although he has permission to do the  work and that this concerns him.  Maria May wondered whether the Town would be liable should this topsoil be sold and subsequently determined contamined. The Deputy Supervisor responded that this was a good question and it is one of the things that  concerns him about the lack of a contract. 

Agenda Items:  

  • a Resolution to approve a sign permit for Tuxedo Little League was unanimously approved.
  • a Resolution to authorize the acceptance of the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update for Orange County, NY – this was a necessary action in order to make the Town eligible for a grant which could help pay for a few projects to mitigate flooding in Town.  This was unanimously approved.
  • a Resolution for Police Arbitration –  Under the Walkill rule, the Town now has jurisdiction over police disciplinary grievances.  No details were given but the Stage 2 rejection was approved so this can now move forward to the next stage. This was unanimously approved.
  • a Petition to request relief from moratorium from the Watchtower was tabled because of a lack of information. 

Other Business:
Councilmember Lindsay reported that she was readying the application for the state aid for municipalities grant and was planning  to ask for money for a roof for Town Hall as well as surveillance cameras for the police department.  Although a new roof for the records building had been proposed, she wants to wait on that while they think about a long-term plan for the building and where the records will go.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen feels that the Town should just digitize their records.  Councilmember English also thinks the Town should apply for money to fund repairs to the back of the train station.
Town Clerk Matthews stated that the preliminary budget would be handed in on October 21.   The Public Hearing on the budget will take place on October 28 at the Town Board meeting and the vote on the budget will happen at the November 11 meeting.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay requested that the Town have a meeting on zoning changes, further commenting that the Board hadn’t had one for quite a while.  She is concerned about parking in Town, specifically with the need to change the size of required parking spaces from 10 feet by 20 feet to 9 feet by 18 feet.  Councilmember English would also like to add spaces for compact cars to the zoning code.  Additionally, he and Councilmember Lindsay would like to look into accessory parking, which would allow for parking on the streets on certain roads in Town. 
Councilmember English gave a shout out to Brian Sullivan for his hard work on the budget.
Councilmember Lindsay commented that she would like to find a way to acknowledge all the community members who are taking part in the Economic Development Workshop meetings.

Department Head Update:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his Department had been working on striping roads and fixing catch basins all over town.  He further reported that the beams had been set on the new East Village bridge just that day.   Soon, the department will be picking up leaves and preparing their vehicles for winter.
Lt. Norton noted that it was getting dark early and he hopes parents will help to get children off the streets. There will be a curfew of 9 pm on Halloween. 
Building Inspector Maikisch reported that there is a new boutique in Tuxedo Square, which sells clothes and jewelry. There is also a new Urgent Care facility opening in Duck Cedar Plaza. Further, there is a chocolate maker in the Augusta building and Bentleys has a new owner.

Public Comments:
Janet Galuska asked for an update on the Town Consolidation.  She was told that everything was on track and moving along as expected.  Councilmember English said he would like to see a formal update from the attorneys on this subject. 
A resident of Southfields wondered if there was actually a legitimate business going on in the building where Jasmine Imports used to be located, Building Inspector Maikisch responded that it was currently a storage facility. 
Jim Hays reported that he had had a conversation with the Mayor of Sloatsburg during which he inquired when Route 17 would be finished.  He was told that when the dispute between Rockland County and the construction company doing the sewer work had been resolved, the state would repave Route 17.  At that time, Sloatsburg will initiate their road diet where there will be 3 lanes instead of 4 for traffic.  Mr. Hays wondered if perhaps Tuxedo should consider doing the same thing.  He was told that the Board wants to wait and see how it works in Sloatsburg before deciding to do something similar in Tuxedo. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting October 15, 2019

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Notice of Special Town Board Meeting October 11, 2019

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Town Board Meeting September 23, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost was absent and Councilmember Reardon attended via phone.

Deputy Town Supervisor Update:
Deputy Supervisor McMillen read the following statement from Supervisor Rost:

Good evening Everyone, I wanted to let you know that I am at home recovering from my recent hospital stay, and I am pleased to report that I am very much on the mend.  My doctors have informed me that I can expect a full and speedy recovery.  I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Detective Christian and Officer Hall for their quick response and professionalism the evening of my accident, along with the Town Paramedic and the members of the Ambulance Corps.  I experienced, firsthand, the high level of emergency services that the Town of Tuxedo provides.  We are fortunate to have such a great group of highly trained, experienced and dedicated emergency first responders.

Throughout my recovery I have been kept apprised of various Town business items, and I continue to get caught up and work on various matters, which includes making significant progress on the upcoming Town Budget. 

One update that I can provide is that I spoke with Steve Germano today and his target date for the opening of his restaurant is October 2.  This long awaited new business will make for another terrific dining option for Tuxedo residents.

I would very much like to thank everyone for their well wishes, and I look forward to getting fully back to work and keeping the positive momentum going.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Claudia Bakhtiary commented that she had tracked down the Regional Transportation Council Survey and wondered if there was still time for the Town to respond.  Councilmember Lindsay responded that unfortunately it appeared to her as though the Town hasn’t been fully represented.  The Transportation Council is at the end of its process and the notes do not reflect any mention of a response from Tuxedo.  The Council has presented their 25-year plan for regional transportation.  Councilmember Lindsay suggested that the Town Board draft a response to the survey, which she felt might then carry a little weight.  She added that citizens throughout Orange County were welcome to respond to the survey and since the Town hadn’t been part of the planning in the report, it would be good to comment.  Ms. Bakhtiary mentioned that she had been talking to the owners of Dottie Audrey’s and they reported transportation issues with getting employees to work. Deputy Supervisor McMillen said that he thought any plans should focus on the entire business corridor.  Dale Mottola commented that she found it challenging that there is no public transportation to Westchester. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Consideration of Establishing an Economic Development CouncilCouncilmember Lindsay commented that she has been running a group for volunteers on the subject of Economic Development for a while now and they are wondering what they should call themselves and further what would be their interaction with the Town Board.  She reported that  35 people had showed up to the committee meeting and they want to formalize the committee.  She reached out to Bill Fioravanti, Director of Economic Development for Orange County and he said he would put her in touch with a committee in Newburgh.  Additionally, she said she would reach out to other Towns to see what they are doing.  She said she was looking for input from the Town Board and wondered how they would like to proceed.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that he thought she was on the right path.  Councilmember Lindsay then said she wanted to know how to establish a process for all the work that the volunteers are doing. Additionally she wondered how they could get their work recognized by the Town Board and how they might  interact with the Town Board in order to have an impact on decisions like zoning.  Town Attorney Howard Protter inquired as to what exactly the volunteers were  doing.  He wondered if they were preparing reports.  Councilmember Lindsay replied that they have formed subcommittees and they are getting to the point where they will be preparing reports.  Mr. Protter then added that he would give some thought to the question. Councilmember English interjected that he felt  that the work of the committee needed to be guided by actions that the Town Board was considering.  In his view,  the Town needs to determine what their priorities are and these will steer the comittees.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen added that he thought it should be predicated on the priorities set by the Comprehensive Plan.  Councilmembers English and Lindsay suggested that it could be a Citizens Action Committee.  Town Attorney Protter responded that he wasn’t sure what they meant by that term.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen replied that in some municipalities, Citizen Action Committees have some power, to which Town Attorney Protter quickly replied “not in New York!”  Instead, he suggested that the committees be invested with certain responsibilities instead of power. 
  2. 2-Regional Transportation Council Survey Response from Town BoardDeputy Supervisor McMillen suggested that they had already covered this subject during the public comments on agenda items.  Councilmember English disagreed.  He stated that as a Town Board they should have reviewed the survey and ascertained what items were being sought.   Since the deadline for responses isn’t until September 30, he recommended that they put together a consolidated Board response and send it in.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen agreed and said Councilmember English would be the Project Manager for the response.  It was determined that this would not have to be done in a public meeting. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay reported that she and Town Clerk Matthews would like to learn how to add tabs to the Town web page.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that he would get together with both of them and show them how to do this.
Councilmember English stated that he would like to focus on the Highway Department site, which he feels should be a coordinated effort by the entire Town Board.  He thought that he was supposed to be working on this with Deputy Supervisor McMillen and, while they’ve had some “ad hoc solutions” such as a proposal from the Watchtower, he personally has not seen anything from Watchtower so he doesn’t know what is being offered.  He thinks they need to issue an RFP to try to establish what the clean up costs would be for the entire site and then they would be able to determine the value of what is being offered by the Watchtower.  He further stated that the Town doesn’t have a contract with anyone to clean up the site and this troubles him.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen agreed and further commented that he knew nothing about a contact with Watchtower.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum said he “stumbled into” a meeting with Watchtower and subsequently they had come and looked at the site.  Town Attorney Protter interjected that the Town does in fact have a contract with Ben Veltidi to clean up the mulch site but not the dirt.  Councilmember English observed that there were substantial piles of contaminated dirt and logs that had been there for ages..  Deputy Supervisor McMillen remarked that the piles were actually decreasing in size..  He said he felt the Board needed to figure out what they were looking for and, in his view, that should be an estimate of what it would cost to remediate everything that is left on the property.  Councilmember English said he kept hearing about “ad hoc solutions” but he feels the Town Board should visit the site as a group and then move to find out what it would cost to just clean it up.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen said that it was the Supervisor’s role to reach out to groups like this and that this is what had happened here.  But, he added that the Town has had someone working on the dirt piles on the property for a couple of years without a contract and this troubles him because he feels there could be a  liability issue.  Councilmember English again complained that these arrangements should be made with the entire Town Board.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that  this wasn’t how things worked….the Supervisor meets with people who are offering services and then disseminates the information to the entire Board.  Councilmember English replied ‘but none of that has been channeled to the Board.” Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that the Watchtower people had come to have the meeting but Supervisor Rost was not there due to being in the hospital.  Instead, he happened to be at Town Hall so he spoke with the group and got their contact information. He went on to say that the Town does have an issue with DeMarino, who is cleaning up the dirt pile, but regardless he has saved the Town a lot of money.  However, he continued, the Town is not indemnified and this bothers him. Superintendent Dollbaum then stated that when he had first been elected, the Board put out a call for quotes on cleaning up the entire Highway Department site.  They had quotes ranging from a half a million dollars on up to 5 million.  The half a million quotes were from people who just wanted to take the wood away.  He went on to say that no one had bothered to get an estimate  for removing the rest of the dirt, which would involve removing up to 300,000 yards of contaminated fill.  Councilmember Lindsay expressed concern that the Board had been told that everything was going along great when, in fact, there was a huge piece of it left to be done.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen suggested that the problem was a lack of administration oversight. DeMarino is bringing soil to mix with what’s in the “pile” and then taking the resulting topsoil out at no cost to the Town.  Town Attorney Protter suggested the Town could put out an RFP to everybody including DeMarino and the Watchtower and then compare what is being offered at no cost to the Town.  Councilmember English said that they could look at it but expressed his dismay that he hadn’t been party to any of these arrangements.  He said he had heard most of the details through rumor.  He further reported having heard talk of staging areas, storing trucks, pole barns and concrete plants .  He doesn’t feel it is accurate to say that there will be no cost to the Town. Town Attorney Protter responded “the alternative is cash!” He suggested that an RFP would help the Board put a value on the work being done.  Councilmember Lindsay wondered if the Board should be thinking, long term, about what they want the Highway Department property to be.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum stated for the record that Supervisor Rost hadn’t been the one having conversations with the Watchtower, rather he was. Supervisor Rost sent Watchtower to take a look at the highway property as he was thinking about having them remediate the dirt pile in exchange for services and Superintendent Dollbaum was there when they showed up.  Councilmember English then asked if it was appropriate for the Supervisor to make such decisions all by himself?  Town Attorney Protter replied to that it was certainly appropriate for him to have started the process and had conversations with  Watchtower and further to ask them to look at the site. Councilmember English said it sounded to him as though this had been going on for a long time. 
Mary Graetzer spoke up and commented that this all sounded like electioneering from the dais to her and she was offended by that.  Councilmember English stated that he was offended by that comment.  
Moving on, Deputy Supervisor McMillen stated that he thought the Board should start by having the Town Engineer give them a report on what needed to be done at the site and from that they could create an RFP. Councilmember Reardon interjected that she thought there had been an email to the entire Board when the Watchtower went to a TAC meeting with the Planning Board detailing their proposal. 
Ultimately, it was decided to ask the Watchtower to put a proposal in writing to the entire Town Board.  Councilmember English also proposed that the Town Board together should tour the Highway Department site.  Councilmember Lindsay suggested that the Town Engineer should be present as well and the Board members agreed. 
Councilmember Lindsay suggested that since they had all received the latest audit report, they should invite the Town Auditor to come to a meeting and present his findings.  The Board members all agreed.

Department Head Updates:
Building Inspector Maikisch reported that Tuxedo Reserve has a permit for a project called East Terrace on their site.  Recently, he had received a detailed accusation that they are bringing in uncertified fill to the site.  He will be investigating this.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that the Board would discuss this in Executive Session with the attorney after the meeting. 
Town Clerk Matthews reported that she and Deputy Clerk Marisa Dollbaum were still working on records management.  Recently, Mrs. Dollbaum has started scanning documents and digitizing them so they can shred the actual paper. 
Public Comments:
Dale Mottola stated that about 10 years ago someone had put together a report on transportation in Southern Orange County and Tuxedo had been left out of that report as well.  She doesn’t think research will turn up much that is specific to Tuxedo. 
Jerry Mottola said he is in constant contact with the Postmaster in Tuxedo and they have been discussing parking as well as the need for fixing the sidewalk in front of the Post Office.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum responded that if his budget proposal went through, repairs to the sidewalks would be done next year.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen suggested that perhaps there could be LDC money available for this to which Councilmember Lindsay added that maybe they could do something nicer than just repair the sidewalk in that area since LDC money was supposed to be for Town Beautification.  Councilmember English stated that should the Town put together a proposal to the LDC he would want to make it clear that this was a Town Board proposal.
Claudia Bakhtiary suggested that they look at the reports made from the focus groups years ago (around 2003) for beautification of the downtown area. 
Irene Denaro said she hopes the Town can work on the “contaminated section” of the highway department site.   She also hopes the Town Board can work together and start communicating with one another.

Vouchers were signed and the Board adjourned into an Executive Session to seek advice from counsel. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 23, 2019

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Town Board Meeting September 17, 2019

The Town Board met on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost and Councilmember Reardon were absent.

Councilmember Lindsay expressed her desire to change the minutes from the last meeting.  She was told to take her changes to the Town Clerk in her office and then they would be discussed and the minutes approved at the next Town Board meeting.

Deputy Supervisor Update:
Deputy Supevisor McMillen stated that the concert at Powerhouse Park  was a “good concert,” despite having low attendance due to lousy weather.  He further said that the event made some money this year and that the details and figures would be announced at the next meeting of the LCD. 

Councilmember English remarked that the Board members had all received various reports from Town departments in their packets and he felt these reports should be open and available to the public.  Therefore he proposed that the Board read into the record and discuss the Building inspector’s report and he proceeded to do so. 

The report had 7 items on it:

1.The building that the Town uses for the storage of records, Animal Control equipment and Recreation equipment was condemned back in April, 2017.  The Town should not be using it and a fence should be placed around it, as per State code, to prevent entry.  (Someone could get hurt in that building.)
Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that the plan for records management has always been to build a pole barn with proceeds from the sale of the American Legion building.  Since that plan was made, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have come forth with a PILOT proposition, which might assist the Town in remedying the situation sooner. 
Councilmember English replied that he felt that several questions needed to be answered and then the Board needed to meet on this subject and make a decision about what should happen with the building rather than the “one off negotiations” that he feels are going on inappropriately. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen said he had contact information for the people from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and could set up a meeting. 
Councilmember English responded that it was fine for one person to set up a meeting but if the entire Board wasn’t in on the meeting, he felt it was wrong. 
Councilmember Lindsay mentioned that she recalled that Highway Superintendent Dollbaum was going to replace the roof on the record storage building and wondered where that fit in with the “condemnation.”  Mr. Dollbaum responded that he did intend to replace the roof and also do some work cleaning up the inside of the building (he estimated 2-3 days work) and then the condemnation could be lifted and that building as well as the pole barn could be used for storing Town records. 
Councilmember English then remarked that he felt the Town Board should organize a  site visit to the building so they could be clear about its condition. 
2. The Renaissance Faire has opened and the Forest of Fear Building has been taken down. 
Building Inspector Maikisch further explained that the Renaissance Faire staff had self condemned the Forest of Fear building and taken it down.
3. DeMarino Trucking has been removing the pile of topsoil being stored in front of the new sewer plant facility.  It is not in accordance with the approved site plan.  The deadline has been extended.
Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that Mr. DeMarino had no place to put the topsoil so he decided to use it to erect a sound barrier between the train tracks and Contractor’s Row.  He’s been notified that he has to move it but seems to be doing so very slowly. 

4.  Howard Protter has been asked to review the Tuxedo Auto Body settlement to determine what can be done in order to have the owner submit a site plan.
Town Attorney Protter responded that he had done this and had provided an explanation to the Building Inspector, which has also been sent to the Town Board. 

5. Chester LeBaren Jr. is scheduled to come in front of the Planning Board to get approval for the fill that was placed on his property behind the American Legion Buildling.
Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that for years, the fire departments had access to the creek behind the building to fill up their tanker trucks but now Mr. LeBaren Jr. has blocked their access.  Mr. Protter further commented that he could no longer advise the Board on this matter because his firm represents the estate of Mr. LeBaren Sr..  It has been determined that this is not a Town Board issue but is between Mr. LeBaren and the fire company.

6. Mr. Bruno has been in front of the Planning Board for acceptance of a new site plan for the IGA Building.  Some changes still need to be made before an approval. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that the Town of Tuxedo code calls for parking spaces of 10’ X 20’ while most municipalities call for 9’ X 18’ spaces.  Councilmember Lindsay commented that she had been at the Planning Board meeting and had learned that Mr. Bruno wants to open the antique store in the IGA as soon as possible and they don’t feel there is enough time to wait for the Town to change their parking code.  They feel that between the old Tuxedo Junction site and the current IGA site, they can find enough parking.  Councilmember English stated he thought the Board needed to review parking specifications in Town. 

7. Steve’s Pizza has received correspondence from the county regarding the changes needed for the septic system that had been installed to be approved.

Building Inspector Maikisch further commented that Steve’s had in fact received their Certificate of Occupancy just that day and was now planning to open on or around October 1. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:
1. Consideration of LED Streetlights program and financing.
Councilmember Lindsay explained that O&R’s program for replacing the lights had a deadline of September 15.  The Town responded that they did want to participate.  This means the Town will get 2% of the streetlights converted to LED lights for free and then at the end of the program, if all Towns hadn’t participated, there would be an opportunity to get more.  Last year, the Town was able to get 50 converted.  There was no further action required on this.
2. Resolution to approve Planning Board Member Terms- This item was tabled.
3. Discussion – Highway Employment – to be discussed under Other Business.
4. Resolution approving St. Mary’s Sign – The church was seeking permission to put up signs advertising their annual ‘Soup For Scholarships fundraiser at the Train Station” which benefits scholarships for the PreSchool.  It was unanimously approved. 

Other Business:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum commented that he feels the Board needs to start thinking about hiring some new fulltime men at the Highway Department.  Currently, they have 6 fulltime employees in the department.  All are over the age of 52, one is out on disability and one is the mechanic.  That leaves 4 working on a daily basis.  One of these 4 has a bad knee and one has a bad hip.  They also have 3 seasonal employees. After 3-1/2 years, the seasonal guys are starting to question whether they will ever be made permanent and are talking about leaving.  According to the Highway Superintendent, ideally, the department would have 8-9 men.  Five years ago, they had 13 men and he admits that was probably too many employees.  He feels that if the Town doesn’t hire and start training young men soon, they could find themselves with a department where no one knew how to do the work or how any of the systems operate in the Town.  He added that when he retired from his job, the mechanic will leave with him.   He suggests that the Town consider making some of the seasonal employees permanent hires so they can be trained.  He further said he thought this was something that the whole Board should know.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember English stated that during the Irene Storm, the culvert on Benjamin Meadow Rd. had been damaged.  FEMA had funded the repairs but the work has not been done and time has run out.  FEMA has denied an extension, but the Town can appeal.  If won, that would give the Town until mid-January to do the work, but Highway Superintendent Dollbaum says that’s not enough time as this work needs to be done during the July-September time period as Benjamin Meadow Rd. is a school bus route and in order to do the work, the road needs to be closed.  Since FEMA does not pay until a job has been completed, the Town will need to have money in the budget to do the project.  They will also need to have a reasonable estimate of how long the project will  take.  The Board voted unanimously to authorize H2M to prepare the paperwork needed to apply for the extension.
Councilmember Lindsay announced she had several meetings scheduled for the Economic Development Council.  They are September 23 at 4:30, September 30 at 6:30, October 1 at 6:30 and October 3 at  6:30.  All meetings will take place in the Community Room at Town Hall and are open to the public.  She also said that the Climate Smart Task Force was moving forward looking at different projects to get certification for the Town.

Department Heads Update:

Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that the Department has mulch, topsoil, compost and chip stone available for residents only at Quarry Field.  He also reported working on the following things:

  • Tree planting in the East Village has been completed
  • Sylvan Way has been chip sealed
  • Drain and culvert cleaning
  • The corner of Benjamin Meadow Rd. and Brammertown Rd. has new signs.

 

Police Chief Abbot stated he has submitted his budget.  Lt. Norton added that he will be issuing a Nixle alert shortly before the weekend of October 5-6 for high traffic as both the Renaissance Faire and Apple Fest will be going on in addition to Family Fun Day. The police will be closing Benjamin Meadow Rd. during this time.

Public Comments:
Dale Mottola asked if there was any update on the Town Village Consolidation. She was told that the State had requested “meets and bounds” description on the “new” municipality.
Representing the School District, Meg Vaught reported the District had reached out to both State Senator Metzger’s office and the DOT regarding the blinking school light and the traffic light. Superintendent Bohlke has suggested a joint meeting with presence from both school and Town with the Senator and DOT.  The Board agreed to this. 
John McNamara thanked Deputy Supervisor McMillen for his work on the concert at Powerhouse Park, which he said he had attended and found it to be a great event despite the weather.  He also thanked the Police Department for their presence at the event. 

There were no vouchers as this was a “special meeting.”  The Board entered into an executive session to discuss personnel. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 17, 2019

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 9, 2019

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Town Board Meeting August 27, 2019

The Town Board met on Wednesday, August 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost was absent.

Deputy Supervisor McMillen opened the meeting by reading two statements. The first was an Official Town statement, which read:

“The Town Supervisor, Mike Rost, had a traffic accident last week when he lost control of his vehicle and we understand the circumstances of the accident are under investigation by the New York State police.  The Supervisor is recuperating and we all wish him a speedy recovery and a return to his official duties.  The Deputy Supervisor will be filling in for the Supervisor during his absence.” 

The second statement was from Supervisor Rost and it read:

“I would like to thank all who have supported both my son and me through this truly difficult time.  That is one of the things that makes Tuxedo such a special place to call home.  I am truly grateful and honored to serve this community.  During my short recovery, Deputy Supervisor McMillen will be handling Town business.  We have come a long way since 2014 with our strong fiscal recovery and the remediation of the mulch pile, just to name a few. We also have exciting things ready to happen with the opening of Steve's.  I am very much looking forward to getting back to work, in order to continue to build upon the Town's positive momentum and successes.”

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Continuation of Public Hearing – Planning Board Membership Terms:
Sue Scher commented that the resolution in its current form was much tighter and clearer. She wondered if the Board would be putting together an implementation plan.  The answer was yes,  the Board does intend to do this. 
Next, Deputy Supervisor McMillen made a motion that the hearing be closed and it was passed unanimously.  
Councilmember Lindsay wondered if the one person whose term expires at the end of this year should be one of the three who were originally supposed to expire this year.  After some clarification from Town Attorney Protter, Councilmember Reardon made a motion that the Board adopt the local law as proposed  with the provision that the Town Board get together in order to discuss and decide on which members would fill which terms.   There was some discussion about which terms should be filled by whom.  Town Attorney Protter stated that the intent of the law was for the slate to be wiped clean.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English disagreed with this insisting that one of the 3 members originally slated to have their term expire at the end of this year, should have their term expire at the end of this year.  Councilmember Reardon reiterated that her motion was that the law be adopted with the terms to be discussed and hammered out between the Board members later.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English wanted the terms to be included in the motion.  When Councilmember Lindsay reiterated that she agreed with the cadence of expiring terms but wanted to discuss individual terms, Councilmember Reardon withdrew her motion and Deputy Supervisor McMillen withdrew his second and the meeting moved on. 

Agenda Items:
1-Consideration of LED streetlight program and financing: 
Councilmember Lindsay explained that this proposal was one of two she’s been looking at for converting the Town’s streetlights to LED, which would help the Town to comply with the Climate Smart certification program.  One of the programs is proposed by O&R and the other by NYPA (New York State Power Authority).  O&R’s program will allow the Town to convert up to 2% of the  lights for free each year and, if other municipalities didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, there could be an opportunity to get more for free.  NYPA’s program would provide for converting all the lights at once with a financing program for the Town to pay them back over 7 years.  The final numbers were not available.  Frank Peverly further commented that in order to take advantage of NYPA’s program, the Town would have to first purchase the streetlights from O&R.  Currently the Town pays a fixed charge on a monthly basis to O&R for the streetlights.  However, if they decide to purchase the streetlights (required in order to enter into the agreement with NYPA) they would have to enter into a contract for maintenance of the lights.  NYPA’s estimated cost is inaccurate because they are calculating it based on the wrong number of streetlights.  Ultimately, it was decided that the Board didn’t have enough information to make a responsible decision. 
2- Consideration of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and Financing:
Councilmembers Lindsay and English and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum met with the contractor that NYPA uses for electric vehicle charging stations.  They identified two possible locations for the stations.  One is in the north end of the train station parking lot and the other is in the commuter parking lot.  Each charging station has 2 ports meaning that there would be room for 4 cars to charge.  A full charge takes approximately 4 hours.  If the Town decides not to charge the public for charging their vehicles, they would be eligible for an $8000 grant per charging station. 
3- Powerhouse Park Concert Budget:
Deputy Supervisor McMillen announced that the Town recently discovered that the LDC would not be able to provide money for the concert from the grant fund as they had hoped.  However, all costs of the concert have been covered by a private donation so that the event will not cost the Town anything.                                            Also, the LDC recently voted to create a 3rd fund, the Administrative Fund, which will be used only for money coming in to the Town.  Thus, any money earned from the concert will go into that fund.  There is currently $12,500 in the fund, which covers the costs of the entertainment lineup at the concert.  Additional donations to cover the cost of the sound system among other items are expected.  The only things the Town will have to pay for are the trashcans, picnic tables and porto-potties which are items that are typically provided with every event that is booked in Town (i.e. softball tournaments etc) as per an agreement already on file with the Recreation Department.  Councilmember Reardon then stated that she was 100% in favor of this concert and also other events that might be brought in because of the work that the LDC has done. She called on her fellow Board members to join her.  Deputy Superintendent McMillen quickly agreed.  Councilmember English commented that he thought that it was unfair for Councilmember Reardon to infer that her fellow Board members were unsupportive.  He further commented that he was not unsupportive, but nothing had ever been presented to him about the concert so he had questions.  Based on what happened last year when Town money was used for the event, and it was ultimately a financial loss to the Town, he was against it.  He also believes that Town Residents should have been able to attend for free as taxpayer money was used to finance the event.  He went on to say that if a producer was brought to produce the concert and that producer wanted to use Powerhouse Park, in his mind that would be a totally different thing than the Town producing concerts.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen further announced that he had spoken with County Executive Steve Neuhaus who has pledged his 110% support for the event.  The County will pay for radio spots, coverage in Hudson Valley Magazine and newspaper ads among other things.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen pledged that he would work with the concert producer to offer a reduced price for Town residents.  Councilmember Lindsay remarked that she had asked for this item to be on the agenda because she wanted to make sure there would not be a repeat of last year.  Since it appears that this is not the case, she of course supports it. 
4- Approval for Sign Permit/Masker Orchard:
Masker Orchard annual requests these signs in the fall to align with the apple picking season.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay announced that there would be an  Economic Development meeting on September 4 from 6-8:30pm and that everyone was welcome to attend. 
Councilmember English said he had  received a clipping from the Photo News about digital speed signs and would like to see some installed for use in Town.
Councilmember Lindsay expressed her interest in installing a sidewalk from the traffic light at Contractor’s Row down to Steve’s because the Town wants people to cross at the light, but there currently there is no  path for them to walk on.  It was pointed out that this would be under the DOT’s jurisdiction and the Town would have to request that they install sidewalks. 

Department Head Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum announced the availability of mulch, topsoil and compost for residents at Quarry Field.  In addition, the Department has l ¼ inch gravel, leftover from street sweeping, that will be available.   Starting the week of September 2 the Highway Department will be continuing the tree planting in the East Village between the road and the fence along the Thruway.  The Superintendent has been working with Deputy Supervisor McMillen on some safety issues in Town Hall and in the Court and Town Clerk’s office.  Finally, he reported that the stairway from the lower commuter parking lot is in disrepair and they may need to close it down in the future as it is a potential a safety hazard. 

Public Comments:
Janet Galuska mentioned that if the Town wanted to slow people down as they came into Town, it might be a good idea to make sure the 35 mph speed limit sign at the south end of Town was free from bushes and trees.  Currently, it is almost impossible to see it.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum responded that he had already called the DOT on this issue.  The Town is not allowed to clear in this location.  This led to a discussion about the missing blinking yellow light in front of the school.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum said he had asked the DOT about this as well and that he had also given new Superintendent of Schools, Tim Bohlke, the numbers for him to call.  It was suggested and agreed to that the Town would contact their State Senator and ask her to look into and expedite this if possible.
Mrs. Galuska also asked the Town to look into making Hospital Road one way the entire way around as she feels it is dangerous the way it is (one way going up, but both ways going down) . Finally she suggested that people exiting the Library parking lot should be required to go down to Library Road and then to the stop light to turn on to Route 17 as it is difficult to impossible to see past the Library’s hedges when turning out of their lot. 
Jerry Mottola commented that the Town of Tuxedo used to be known as the speed control Town but now he almost never sees police monitoring speeders especially through Town.  Sgt. Russell responded that they were there, but perhaps Mr. Mottola didn’t know where to look for them!  Deputy Supervisor McMillen added that the police were out more often now and midnight coverage has expanded to 4 or 5 nights a week. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

 

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Notice of Economic Development Meeting September 4, 2019

There were will be an Econmic Development meeting on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:30pm in the Town Hall.

Click here to view the meeting notice.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 27, 2019

Click here to view the agenda for this meeting

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Town Board Meeting August 12, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, August 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm.  Supervisor Rost was absent and Councilmember Reardon attended via Skype.

Continuation of Public Hearing – Planning Board Membership Terms:
Deputy Supervisor McMillen set the stage for the public hearing by saying that the Board had been waiting for restated verbiage from the Town Attorneys.  
Councilmember Lindsay explained that the problem was that in 2014, 2 members were added to the Board and the terms were not changed which meant that 3 Board members had terms expiring in 2019.
Town Attorney Protter stated the legislation as proposed states that in 2019, 1 member’s term would expire; in 2020 2 members’ terms would expire; in 2021 1 member’s term would expire; in 2022 2 members’ terms would expire and in 2023 – 1 member’s term would expire.  He added that the law also provided for a one year probationary period for new members in order to make sure their training had been completed and their performance was satisfactory.
Councilmember Lindsay remarked that while she was aware of the discrepancy in the term lengths, she did not recall any discussion being held about a probationary period.  Town Attorney Protter responded that there had indeed been such discussion and that this is where he had taken the provisionfrom.  Councilmember English wondered if the new verbiage had been posted on the Town website?  He was told no because it hadn’t yet been agreed upon by the Board.
Councilmember Reardon stated that the Chairman of the Planning Board had sent to all Town Board members a proposal, following the 1,2,1,2,1 cadence for whose terms he thought should expire when.  In brief it said:
   In 2019, the 7th member to be appointed to the Board’s term would expire
   In 2020, the 6th member to be appointed to the Board’s term and Ray Ferri’s term would expire
   In 2021, Rich Rigoli’s term would expire
   In 2022, John Ruel’s term and Darren Maynard’s term would expire
   In 2023, Chairman Mike Reardon’s term would expire.
Councilmember English requested that if the Board had evidence of when someone had been appointed, that should be considered when figuring out the terms.  For example, he recalls that Mike Reardon had been appointed in 2017 and therefore his term should end in 2022 and not 2023.  Also, he doesn’t feel the two newest members should come off first.
Councilmember Reardon disagreed saying that she thought it would henceforth be healthy.  She assumes everyone thinks the two newest members will want to stay on the Board and thus would likely be reappointed so they would actually end up with the longest terms.  She further commented that if the Board members wanted the Chairman of the Planning Board to come to a meeting and explain the reason behind his proposal in person, they should request this.
Councilmember English remarked that he thinks the original appointment date has to be considered.  Councilmember Reardon and Deputy Supervisor McMillen both said that in order to get to the 1,2,1,2,1 cadence some adjustments in terms would need to be made.   Town Attorney Protter observed that in order to get into the proposed cadence, it would be necessary to start all over again with the terms. He doesn’t feel that the Board should spend any more time trying to figure out original appointment dates.  Instead he suggested that they should state new terms, agree on them and go with it from there.  After some more discussion along these lines, the Board decided to continue the Public Hearing to the next Town Board meeting at which time they would also hear from Planning Board Chair Mike Reardon. 
Councilmember English commented that in regard to the probationary period, he felt that the criteria of not taking training or not coming to meetings should apply to all Board members, not just new ones.  He added he doesn’t understand why the Board would want to recruit someone just to put them on probation. 
No one who was present remembers being in favor or a probationary period and the Town Attorney said one wasn’t necessary so they Board asked him to remove that provision from the latest revision of the law to be considered at the next meeting. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen began the update by stating his appreciation for the actions of Lieutenant Norton who was recently hugely responsible for rescuing a young woman from drowning at an unnamed location in Town.  After Councilmember English and several audience members asked for the exact location of this accident, the Lieutenant stated that he wasn’t going to tell anyone the location because the Town didn’t want anyone to know or to feel encouraged to try swimming there.  Councilmember English stated that he felt that the location should be marked somehow, perhaps with a white cross  such as are frequently erected after automobile accidents as a beacon of death to warn people that death could occur as the area is unsafe. 
Lieutenant Norton further commented that he had recently been made aware that the victim was having trouble paying for her medical bills.  He noted that he did not know if it would be appropriate, but wondered if the Town would be interested in contributing as he understands she is in debt approximately $50,000.  The family has started a go fund me page for help. 
Next, Deputy Supervisor McMillen wondered if any Board members wanted to have the Town pay for analysis of the water coming out of the spring on Orange Turnpike.  Apparently, PIPC, on whose property the spring runs, has recently put up a sign saying the water is unpotable.  Town Attorney Protter assured the Board that they have no liability for the water so the suggestion was ignored. 
The Deputy Supervisor also reported having spoken to Steve Germano, proprietor of Steve’s, who told him that he now has a tentative opening date of mid September.  He is working through his problems with Orange County and hopes to have a firm date for the opening soon.
Finally, Deputy Supervisor McMillan reported that the Town  has been receiving many comments and complaints through the website about the bears and it seems that people are all concerned about safety.  The Deputy Supervisor cautioned that the DEC, would not come and remove the bears, but they do have a website called Iseemammals.com where one can go and download an app to report bear sightings.  The DEC will use information from this to help set parameters in the state’s bear hunt.   The hunt will take place from 10/1-12/17.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Board Discussion – Reorganization/Consolidation-Town Attorney Howard Protter apprised the Board that the next step is to make a “plan.”  This will consist of the plan that was in the petition plus the tweeks added by the attorneys afterward.  The Board directed Mr. Protter to put these into one document after which they will approve it and then, after 4 weeks time, they can hold a public hearing on the plan.   Councilmember Lindsay asked how they would go about going through and deciding which powers held by Villages they wanted.  Town Attorney Protter responded that this would be unnecessary.  They will just go on as always and if something should come up, like a pipeline, they can just assume the same power that a village has.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen wanted to know if the official name of the Town (on documents and letterheads) would change to the Consolidated Town of Tuxedo?  The answer was yes. 
  2. Request waiver from Building Moratorium to continue external and internal work on the IGA Building – Tuxedo Hudson Co. -  Cathy Morris said the company’s plans were to continue to clean up  the building both inside and out.  Most of the interior work has been completed and at this time they are looking to finish the work on the back of the building and then to paint.  Currently, they have plans for an antique book store and have been talking with several other prospective tenants, some of which are restaurants. If they get their waiver, they can go to the Planning Board for site plan approval. Approval was unanimously granted.
  3. Resolution to reappoint Assessor.  Upon questioning from the Board members, it was explained by Town Attorney Howard Protter that all assessors in the State had their terms from September to September and thus our Assessor’s term is about to expire. Thus the Board voted to unanimously reappoint Jim Davies to the post. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Ken English said he wanted to recognize the recent graduates from Tuxedo of Orange County Firefighters training.  They are Eric Diaz, Nelson Pereira, Darren Reid, Robert Clarke and Madeline Stromberg.  Next, Councilmember English said he had some questions about the upcoming concert at Powerhouse Park, which he learned about through an email from Shari Brooks.  He asked for verification that it was a Town sponsored event.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that it was sponsored by the Town but paid for by the LCD.  The Deputy Supervidor has been working with Bill Fioravanti, Director of Economic Development for Orange County who steered them to the concert producer they are using this year.  He added that a billboard will be going up soon and that many great acts have been booked.  The LDC has agreed to fund the project.  Councilmember English wanted to know who the applicant was.  He was told the Town of Tuxedo.  Then, Councilmember English wanted to know why they hadn’t discussed it as a Town Board.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen replied “because it has nothing to do with the Town Board.” He further suggested that if Councilman English was talking about the application to the LDC he should speak to the Supervisor as his directive had been to “get it going.”  The LDC has already approved up to $35,000 in expenses.  Councilmember Lindsay wanted to know how much the music would cost.  She was told about $12,000.  Councilman English added “so Mike should be able to supply a budget for this?”  He was told yes.  Deputy Supervisor
McMillen further commented that there had been unanimous support from the members of the LDC including Andrew Dance.  All vouchers for the event will be sent to and handled by the LDC.  They are hoping that the event will turn a profit and thus beef up the LDC..  Councilmember English remarked that it was awkward for him to find out about the event in the way that he did. 
Mike Squillini commented that he thought the conversation going back and forth among the Board members was awkward and he didn’t like listening to it. e encouraged the members to hold such discussions privately.  He was told that the Board was complying with the Open Meetings law by holding these discussions in public.
Irene Denaro said that she felt all Town Board members should be voting on a concert and she wanted to know why that didn’t happen.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded “you’ll have to ask Mike Rost why that didn’t happen.” Ms. Denaro then wanted to know who was funding the concert.  She was told the LDC was funding it.  Next, she wanted to know where did the LDC money come from? The answer was The Related Companies who funded it as per their Special Permit for Town Economic Development.  Mrs. Denaro wanted to know how much the tickets would cost.  Deputy Supervisor replied that hadn’t been determined yet. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen added that the producer would be happy to come and talk to the entire Town Board.  Councilmember Lindsay responded that this would be a good idea. 
Chris Dollbaum asked about the LDC and how it was set up.  Town Attorney Protter replied that the LDC had been set up during the Special Permit process because there was concern that if the Related project contained commercial development,  the hamlet might suffer so Related gave money to an LDC.  The LDC has an independent Board, which is made up of 2 Town Board members, a Related representative, the Planning Board Chairman, the Zoning Board Chairman and an attorney.  They administer the funds two ways:  grants and loans. 

Councilmember Lindsay reported that the next Economic Development Workshop would be taking place on on September 4.  It is a public meeting and thus everybody is invited.  The meeting will be held at Town Hall in the Community Room and from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. 

Department Heads Update:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported on the trees being planted in the East Village.  In regard to the Sewer plant, he said they have almost completed all the items on the DEC checklist. They have almost completed all the items on the DEC checklist.  They still need to power wash and paint.  Councilmember Lindsay asked Town Attorney Protter if the Town was still negotiating on a partial opening of the sewer plant.  Mr. Protter replied that he would research that question and report back at the next meeting. 

Public Comments:
Andy Berish asked if the Town changes from a Town to a Village, would this make the Supervisor a Mayor.  He was told, no, it did not.
Jim Eirand commented that he lived on Patterson Hill and Superintendent Dollbaum and his crew just blacktopped their road.  He said “They did a great job and I and all the residents would like to thank them!”
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum mentioned that his crew has recently repaved around Town Hall.  Because they did the job themselves, they saved some money for the Town.  He went on to say that chip sealing on South Gate, Eagle Valley and the East Village is presently underway  He also reminded everyone that in order to hunt bears, one needs a big game license.  Finally, he reiterated his announcement that mulch, compost and top soil is available to residents in Quarry Field.
Meg Vaught, President of the Tuxedo School Board said she was there to formally introduce the Board to Tim Bohlke the new Superintendent of Schools/High School Principal. Mr. Bohlke said he was very excited to be in Tuxedo and he was looking forward to working with the Board.  He wants to shed some light on Tuxedo as he thinks the District has a fantastic faculty and school.  He added he was not required to live in Tuxedo, but he feels it’s his responsibility to do so and thus he is negotiating on a house and is going to move to town. He further said that the Town residents will start to see more evidence of the school in Town with signage.  They have a lot of advertising going out recruiting new students.  The new mantra is “We Are Tuxedo!”  Additionally, he said he would like to see a new traffic signal for the school and when one button is pushed, both that and the light at the fire station would turn red so people could cross the road to get to Steve’s safely.   Councilmember English commented that this was a concern for the Board as well.  He then made the point that most of the people in the audience were over 40 or 50 years of age and he wanted to see more young people involved in the community.  He felt that all should be working with the school to provoke their interest and make it happen. 
Rob Dollbaum then spoke saying that people who grew up in Tuxedo considered the site where the young woman almost drowned as a swimming hole that was a “rite of passage,” where they all learned to swim and dive.  Now, the Town seems to want to brand it as something different and he feels that that’s wrong.

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was approved. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting August 12, 2019

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Town Board Meeting July 22, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, July 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended via phone and all others were present. 

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost reported that he had been spending his time working on the budget having met with both Town Bookkeeper Brian Sullivan and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum earlier in the day.  Next, he recognized all the effort and work put in by Town residents for the Town Village consolidation, acknowledging that this is how government is supposed to work—the residents wanted the consolidation, the Town supported it, and a lot of people went above and beyond the call of duty to make it happen.  Town resident Janet Galuska added that she would like to recognize the people in the Village of Tuxedo Park who worked with her to get signatures and also to bring out the vote in that section of Town.  Councilmember English commented that over 95% of the people who voted did so in favor of the consolidation and what he took from that was encouragement for a “united Tuxedo trying to protect what we have in Town.”  Supervisor Rost added that he also wanted to recognize Town Clerk Donna Matthews who put the whole vote together and found people to man the polls and run the election.  Moving on, the Supervisor then recognized the emergency responders in Town—the Police, especially Lt. Norton, the Fire Department and Ambulance Corps who recently rescued someone from the Ramapo River. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Continuation of Public Hearing – Planning Board terms:
There was some confusion about revisions made to the proposed law with some Councilmembers saying they hadn’t seen them.  Town Attorney Howard Protter noted that it would need to be revised again before the Board could voting so the public hearing was continued to the next Town Board meeting and the Board will await revisions from the attorneys. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution of Conditional Approval of Special Permit for Homeland Towers, LLC and T-Mobile and Northeast LLC – This proposal will approve a cell tower for the Renaissance Faire property. Robert Kodioso, representing the applicant, noted that they had revised their plans to show underground utilities. He also outlined the other work they had done in order to gain site plan review from the Planning Board.  Michael Musso, the Town’s cell tower consultant, mentioned that he had submitted a tech memo on the project.  It included information on the generator and info needed for the FAA.  He also noted that the applicant was offering space to the Town for emergency services antennae and said that while this Tower is being built for T Mobile, there is room on it for the other providers to have space.  Councilmember Lindsay inquired if it had been determined whether the tower would be made to look like a tree or just be a regular tower.  Mr. Kodioso responded that this decision had been made by the Planning Board, who chose to go with a regular mono pole that will be grey in color as they thought that this would be the least visible.  There followed a discussion about the process that will be gone through by the Planning Board to ensure that everything is done right and according to code.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the Special Permit for this project.

New Business:   
Town Clerk Donna Matthews stated that an application had been received for a sign permit for the Renaissance Faire.  This is for the same signage that the Faire puts up every year and it was approved unanimously. The Board also approved the police coverage agreement.

Department Head Update:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that the department had been busy milling the Town Hall parking lot in preparation of repaving it.  They will also be chip sealing on South Gate Rd and Eagle Valley, Ash Court and Summit in the near future.  These projects are the reason why residents have been seeing signs about upcoming construction in various spots around Town. Superintendent Dollbaum cautioned that they are generic signs so people who have been perplexed about “use alternate routes” dead end streets etc. should know that the signs had come worded that way.  He further advised that residents would still be able to get in and out of their residences.  In other news, the crew is almost done with their patching work.  Additionally, there is still mulch, dirt and compost available for residents at Quarry Field.  The Superintendent also reported that he had bee in touch with the DOT about trimming along Route 17 and around the speed limit signs. He also spoke to them about the flashing light and “slow school “ signs which were knocked out by an accident. Supervisor Rost asked if the school needed to call the DOT as well and Mr. Dollbaum responded that it certainly wouldn’t hurt. The Supervisor also inquired about getting a crosswalk put in there as he feels that kids will likely be crossing the street there once Steve’s is open. He was told that the DOT would probably put one in at the stoplight but not elsewhere.  While of the subject of Steve’s, Superintendent Dollbaum added that Mr. Germano, the owner, was still working with the County for approval for his septic system. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember English announced that the Board had received a memo from Town Attorney Marissa Weiss regarding the Town Village Consolidation in which she mentioned that the Town Board would need to meet within 30 days of the election to review the formation of the new Town Village.   This will take place at the next Town Board meeting, which is scheduled for August 12.   Councilmember Lindsay inquired about another public hearing on the subject saying she understood that there needed to be one more.  She was told that the Town did not need any further public hearings on this subject.
Councilmember McMillen reported that the Town was roughly 95% complete with work on the mulch pile, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to close out the consent order.  After a discussion about what still needs to be done on the site, Supervisor Rost commented “at the end of the day, everyone needs to realize that the Town has cleaned up a lot of the mess up there at no expense to the Town.  This work could have cost us millions of dollars!”
Councilmember Lindsay said that this coming week is the final week before the Consolidated Funding Application is due.  She has been meeting with State Senator Jen Metzger and has also been in touch with Assemblyman Brabenec and County Executive Neuhaus to get supporting letters for the Town’s application, which will focus on improved parking in the hamlet area and a new roof for Town Hall as well as improved record management storage. The Town will also apply for a Complete Streets program, which would slow down traffic through Town. 

Public Comments:
Janet Galuska commented that people don’t seem to understand why the toilets in the train station are closed and they need to cross the street to use the facilities in Bentley’s.  She said she knew it was because the restrooms had been vandalized frequently and no one would agree to clean them, but she felt the Town should put up a small sign explaining why the rooms were closed.
John McNamera asked if the Consolidated Town Village might have any additional powers to combat the DEC and help get rid of the consent order.  He was told that regretfully, the answer was no. 
A resident of Southfields commented that the section of Route 17 around Old Orange Turnpike is particularly dangerous with people going too fast and  drivers frequently can’t see to make the turn.  Several other residents as well as Councilmember English spoke up about other sections of Route 17 which were dangerous because of reduced visibility with the State DOT not taking care of pruning alongside of the road.   Town Attorney Protter suggested that one way to get through to the State DOT would be to have a State Senator call and request that the work be done. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 22, 2019

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Town Board Meeting July 8, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost stated that the only thing he’s been working on is the budget.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Public Hearing – Planning Board Membership terms:

Town Attorney Don Nichol explained that the current law states that the Planning Board will consist of 7 members, each having 7-year terms.  He understands that some Town Board members feel that 7-year terms are too long.  The problem with changing the terms to 5 years instead of 7 is that this would create a situation whereby in some years multiple terms would expire and this new law is meant to clear that up.  It is proposed that the terms will expire as follows, 1 member the first year, 2 members the second year, 1 member the third year, 2 members the fourth year and 1 member the fifth year.  The Board members are all in agreement on this concept.  Councilmember English stated that he was in disagreement with the section of the law which states that all new members of the Planning Board will have a probationary year their first year after which the Chairman of the Planning Board will decide whether they continue on the Board or are dismissed.  Councilmember English feels that the law should spell out what constitutes an acceptable first year and he also feels that the Town Board should have the say as to whether members continues or not.  Additionally, he believes that a new member should be made aware of any potential problems so that they have a chance to correct them.  Town Attorney Nichol replied that although that process was not spelled out in the law, it was understood that what the Councilmember was suggesting was what would happen.  Just because the Planning Board Chairman might state that they believe a member shouldn’t continue after the first year, this does not mean that the member would be automatically dismissed.  Also, the member would be given the opportunity to correct any issues before being dismissed.  Councilmember Lindsay commented that she was unhappy that the law didn’t state that the Town Board has to advertise when terms on the Planning Board are up.  Town Attorney Nichol responded that while this was Town policy, it is not required to be in the law nor does he feel it should be.   Councilmember Lindsay also suggested that the process for the probationary year should be written into the law.   Councilmember English further suggested that the law should be more specific in terms of what will be expected of a member.  It was pointed out to the Councilmembers that wording in the proposed legislation has been left  fairly vague on purpose.  Town Attorney Nichol stated that in all the years that he has been associated with the Town, he has never known any of these things to be a problem. Planning Board Chairman Mike Reardon commented that training for Planning Board members is mandated by New York State and the members of his Board are reminded of this quarterly, so if anyone did not get training, he would recommend that they be replaced.  This has never happened so far.  Councilmember English stated that he felt they needed to add recruitment for positions to the policy.     Supervisor Rost responded that there had been discussion among Board members and the majority agreed that the Board Chairmen of the lower Boards should be the ones to do the outreach and the interviewing since they are the experts of what is needed to serve successfully on the Boards.  Councilmember Lindsay countered that it was Town Policy that the Town Board should do the outreach and the interviewing.  The Supervisor suggested that they should change Town Policy.  He further stated that he understood that Councilmember Lindsay did not agree with this.  Councilmember Lindsay added that the proposed law states that  terms would take effect immediately and she felt it might make things less complicated if it could take effect on January 1.  The Town Attorney and the Board agreed with her.  The hearing was then opened up for public participation.
Sue Scher said she felt several things had been left out of the law.  To read her statement, click here
Irene Denaro commented that she thought Ms. Scher’s comments were “very good and on point.”  She wondered how the positions had been advertised and how anyone would know what the criteria for the job were.  She was told that the position had been advertised on the Town website for months.  

Town Attorney Nichol stated that the law would need to be redrafted and suggested that the Board leave the hearing open until that had been done.  Therefore the hearing was left open until August 12th. 

Agenda Items:
The following resolutions were passed:

  • a Resolution to declare the Town of Tuxedo’s intent to be Lead Agency for the SEQR of the CFA Grant application for parking improvements and downtown study – This is a requirement of the Community Funding Application.
  • a Resolution authorizing relief from moratorium for the Southfields catering project – This business will be located In the old Southfields church on Lilac Lane.
  • a Resolution to approve Compensation for Poll Workers at the Referendum on July16
  • a Resolution accepting completed petitions for Library funding proposition to be included on the November 2019 ballot.

a Request for relief from Moratorium for D&A Companies in Southfields was tabled for further discussions with the applicant.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay reported that she had met with Senator Jen Metzger and talked with her about a State Aid Municipality grant.  The Senator asked the Town to send her a letter outlining specific needs for the Town. The list that will be sent is for:

  • A new roof for Town Hall
  • Surveillance equipment for the Police Department
  • A new roof for the Police Station

Councilmember Lindsay further related that she and Sue Scher had gone to the meeting in the Village of Woodbury concerning the proposed video casino on the former Nepera site. The Village found out about the proposal when they read about it in the newspaper, which made them very unhappy. 
One interesting thing they came away with is that all residents should be vigilant to make sure the old railroad bridge next to Nepera does not come down (there has been talk of taking it down by the applicant) because if it comes down, the Town of Tuxedo will then get all the huge trucks that want to avoid tolls on the thruway coming through Town! The project is a long way from approval. 

Department Head Update:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum said that his department had been patching roads and cutting back vegetation on the sides of the roads.  They are almost done patching and will shortly be moving on to chip sealing South Gate Road, Eagle Valley, East Village and possibly Sylvan Way if they have the resources to do that this year. 

Public Comments:
Janet Galuska thanked all the people who had helped her get the mailing for the consolidation out including Town Clerk Donna Matthews and Deputy Town Clerk Marissa Dollbaum.  She will also be handing out flyers on Saturday at the Post Office and Farmers’ Market. 
Marty Lavanhar commented that he had been reading that smaller and smaller communities had been paying higher and higher ransoms for cyber security and he wondered if Tuxedo was at particular risk.  Councilmember McMillen responded that Town IT servers are not located in Tuxedo but rather in New Windsor.  Tuxedo has a very good back up system and the risk is all with the Town’s IT consultants in New Windsor.  Also, he does a lot of things to check security on the side. 
Mike Reardon wondered if anyone was looking into the shape of Route 17 between Tuxedo and Sloatsburg.  Councilmember Lindsay replied that she had spoken with Senator Metzger about it and would continue following up with her.  Supervisor Rost added that he had spoken with the DOT who said that they were still trying to get Metra to finish the project but if they don’t, the DOT will take it over.

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting July 8, 2019

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Click here to view the Notice of Public hearing

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Town Board Meeting June 24, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember English was absent.

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost began his report by commenting that it was not only budget time for him, meaning that he has begun working on the 2020 budget, but it is also it is the halfway point of the present year so he has been  looking at the current  budgets to see where the Town stands.  The biggest thing he has noticed so far is that the Town’s B Fund (cash on hand) has gone up by about a million dollars! The B Fund is the Town outside the Village and this is where money was needed.  It seems to him that everyone from Department heads on down is improving with their budgetting every year.  Next year, the Board will be negotiating the Police Contract again.  The Supervisor reminded everyone that this year he wants to have all appointments for the reorganization set prior to the reorg meeting in January so he has asked Board heads to be ready to make suggestions for appointments by November so they have time to discuss and agree on the appointments. 
The Supervisor then called on Dorothy Ziegelbauer, member of the TUFSD Board, who was present in the audience to see if she had anything she wanted to share.  Mrs. Ziegelbauer responded that she was delighted to report that the Board had appointed a new Superintendent, Mr. Timothy Bohlke.  Mr. Bohlke, who will be starting the position on July 1, has had over 20 years of experience in multiple districts, and is excited to be engaged with community members so residents can expect to see him around Town and at municipal meetings. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish requested an explanation for the item about purchasing streetlights.  He wondered why the Town would want to do that.
Councilmember Lindsay responded that the Town had received a presentation from the New York Power Authority in which they said that there were savings to be had for the Town if they were to buy the streetlights and switch them over to LED bulbs.  This could be financed through the Power Authority.  She further commented that the Board was just looking into this, not voting on it at this meeting.  They will need to get the numbers on what O&R would charge for the lights and then the figures on how much could be saved by using LED lights and then they will be able to make a decision. 
Councilmember McMillen added that the resolution being put forth at this meeting was just to go forward with the research so they can make an eventual decision. 

Resolutions:
1-Resolution to approve a town-wide mailing to all registered voters advising of the July 16th referendum vote on the Town/Village consolidation.  Councilmember McMillen commented that he wanted to see a copy of what was going out before he could approve it.  It was explained to him that the Board was just voting on the mailing itself.  Councilmember English is supposed to be writing the postcard, which will be vetted by Town Attorney Weiss before it is sent out. Town Attorney Weiss is also working on a flyer that will be handed out at the post office in the time leading up to the vote.  It was also stated that there would be a legal notice in the newspaper about the vote. 
2-Resolution supporting the continued research and board interest in purchasing street lights from O&R- The resolution passed 3-1 with Supervisor Rost voting nay.
3-Resolution supporting the continued research and Board interest in Town wide, opt out option for residents to receive discounted utility rates with Good Energy or other service provider. – Councilmember McMillen and Supervisor Rost stated that they were against the opt-out piece of this proposal.  Councilmember Lindsay explained that the way this would work is if given the go-ahead, Good Energy would contact every resident at their expense and hold a public hearing, also at their expense, to explain the program and answer questions from residents.  The Supervisor and Councilmember McMillen were still uncomfortable with the fact that this would be an-opt out procedure.  Town Attorney Protter suggested that Councilmember Lindsay should ask Good Energy if they had a plan which allowed for an opt-in procedure instead of opt out.  Councilmember McMillen commented that residents already had the option to take their energy to another company and that he knows several people who do it, but the difference is that they had made the decision and then notified Orange and Rockland that henceforth they would be using another company.  He is uncomfortable with the Board or anyone else making that decision for the residents.  Ultimately, a motion was made for this resolution, but it was not seconded so the motion didn’t carry.  It was pointed out that this could be brought up to the Board again in the future if a plan with different options was found.
4-Introductory Local Law – Planning Board Members – Because the Planning Board has been changed from 5 to 7 members, there has been confusion as to the terms of the individual members.  This law will straighten that out and make it so that going forward the terms will be easier to keep track of.  The law also makes the first year of a new member’s term probationary so that they can prove that they are capable of doing the work and if they can’t do so, they can be removed.  Because there are 7 members, they will have 7-year terms.  In the beginning, there will be one member’s terms expiring every year up to 2028.  After the law is passed, the Town Board will decide which member gets which term.  The public hearing was wet for July 8 at 7:00 pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Town Board Updates:
Councilmembers McMillen and Lindsay reported having taken a tour of the Tuxedo Farms site.  They commented that a lot of work is being done on the site with many utilities ready to go.  Both were impressed with what they saw and were happy with the way the project is being worked into the surrounding property.  They are ready for Phase One, but need a builder to come forward before going any further. 
Councilmember McMillen stated that he has been working with the people who produce the Chocolate Expo, among other things, and has brought them to an Economic Council meeting.  Tuxedo is in the running to host the Expo, which would bring 5,000 people to Powerhouse Park in October.  Museum Village is also being considered for the site.  Councilman McMillen is also working on another concert for that space in August. 
Councilmember Lindsay  reported that at the last meeting of the Economic Development Committee, they had narrowed future committees down to the top 4 suggestions which were: events, relationships with landlords, updating the 2003 Town Center Plan and Parking options.  She is also working on the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for next year, which is due on July 26.  For these projects, the Town is required to put up a matching fund. Councilmember Lindsay estimates the matching fund requirement would be approximately $10,000.

Public Comments:         
Andy Berish wanted to know if the amusement park was still a possibility for the Tuxedo Farms property.  Supervisor Rost responded that the last time he had spoken to them, it was still in play as they are entertaining all the options that they get. 
Janet Galuska expressed her opinion that the postcard going out to inform people about the referendum vote should go to all residents and not just ones who are registered voters as when her committee went door to door with the petition, they found several people who hadn’t been registered at that point but who said they were going to register.  Mrs. Galuska also expressed her displeasure with Optimum and the fact that their prices keep rising and she feels older people can no longer afford them. 
Maria May expressed her opinion that the Good Energy proposal was a good one and said she was in favor of it. 
Andy Berish asked if the bridge being put up in the East Village was a temporary bridge.  He was told yes, it was to be temporary while the new bridge was being built and installed.  The project is being paid for by the County. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

 

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Town Board Meeting June 10, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended via Skype.  All other members were present.

Supervisor’s Update:
Supervisor Rost reported having had a conversation with Steve Germano regarding his new restaurant, Steve’s.  Mr. Germano is hoping for a July 1 opening.  He is still working on obtaining his permit from the County Department of Health.
It is getting to be budget time.  Consequently, the Supervisor has asked Department Heads to submit their budgets to him between July 15 and August 1,   which will give him time to sit down with each of them.  It will also give the Town Board time to review the budget.   This year, a major repair is needed on the roof at Town Hall and there are repairs to be done at the Police Station as well.  
The Town has been receiving some pressure from the DEC to decommission the Hamlet sewer plant and open up the new one.  Consequently, Supervisor Rost has been working with Related to crunch the numbers and figure out what the opening costs will be for the district.  It will be a minimum of six months before the new plant can open.  Further, the Supervisor remarked that he knew the Village of Tuxedo Park has been having troubles with their sewer plant and so he has had a couple of discussions with them to see if they would be interested in tying in to the new plant.  He will continue with these talks as he thinks it would be beneficial for both municipalities. 
Councilmember Lindsay submitted information about training for the Highway Superintendent and Building Inspector.  She explained that the training was for new energy codes that are going to be enacted by the State. 
Councilmember English asked for an explanation of how the Hamlet sewer plant was going to work and further wondered what the process of turning over the Hamlet sewer district would entail. 
Supervisor Rost suggested that Councilmember English  come in to see him in his office where he  would be happy to explain it to him. 
Next the Supervisor reported that the cell tower which has been proposed for the Renaissance Faire property would be before the Planning Board on Tuesday night and the Town’s consultant would be present to answer questions.  Councilmember Lindsay wanted to know if the project would be presented to the Town Board as well and she was told that she should plan to attend the presentation at the Planning Board.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Speaking to the referendum on the proposed Incorporation and Consolidation of the Town of Tuxedo, Highway Superintendent Dollbaum asked for an explanation of how the voting process would work.
Town Attorney Weiss explained that there would be two votes. One will be for Town residents living outside of the Village of Tuxedo Park only and will ask voters to determine whether the new Village should be created.   The second vote which will ask if the new Village should be consolidated into the Town will be for all Town residents including those living in the Village of Tuxedo Park. The outcome of the vote will be decided by a simple majority of those who voted.  Both resolutions have to pass in order for anything to happen.  “So if 5 people show up, and 3 vote yes, then the resolution will pass?” Superintendent Dollbaum inquired.  He was told yes. 
Councilmember English commented that he found it very frightening that 3 people could change the configuration of the Town. 
He was told that no one expects that only 5 people will turn out. 
Councilmember English responded that this was why he and Councilmember Lindsay felt that public outreach was so important.
Supervisor Rost wondered how many more meetings they could be expected to hold.  There have already been 3 or 4 well-attended meetings and, in addition, a group of people went door to door throughout the Town explaining the process to everyone who was home to meet with them. 
Councilmember Lindsay replied that the effort had been tremendous and it was awesome that 550 people had signed the petition, but she doesn’t think that’s enough.  She would like to see a mailing be sent out to all registered voters in Town. 
Janet Galuska, who organized the group of people who went door to door, stated that she thinks everyone knows about this and she doesn’t see the need for the Town to spend $2000 for a postcard that most might not even read.  Her group has been standing in front of the post office regularly and will have a flyer to hand out for a couple of weeks before the vote. 
Councilmembers Lindsay and English do not agree that this is enough and still feel that the Town should invest in a mailing.
Councilmember McMillen commented that since the resolution had been proposed by the residents, he doesn’t feel that it is appropriate for the Town Board to send out a mailing which might make it look as though they are pushing the proposal.
Maria ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Mae said she thought a lot of people didn’t know that the vote was happening on July 16 or that one had to be a registered voter in order to vote or  that absentee voting would not be allowed. 
Town Attorney Weiss stated that all of this information would be included when the vote is noticed in the newspaper as required by law  4 weeks in advance.  That being said, the ad will run in the legal notices section and several people expressed concern that it would not be seen there.. 
Supervisor Rost added that he was sure that the Times Herald Record would be calling for information as soon as it appeared in the legal notices.  The Board decided that all 3 Town polling places (Eagle Valley Firehouse, Town Hall and Sterling Forest Firehouse) would be used for the vote. 

Agenda Item:
1- The Resolution authorizing details for the July 16, 2019 Incorporation and
1 The Resolution authorizing details for the July 16, 2019 Incorporation and Consolidation Referendum discussed. Councilmember Lindsay commented that she recalled that quite a while ago, the Board had discussed forming Citizens Committees to be the ones responsible for deciding what the ultimate government of the consolidated municipality would be.  Supervisor Rost responded that while this might have been discussed, he had always said that the government would be the same after consolidation as it is now with no changes.  Town Attorney Weiss explained that if the resolution passed, the Town would have 6 months to decide on what would happen next.  Supervisor Rost commented that it was his understanding that they would “stand up the Village and then take it down,” leaving the government to be exactly as it is now.  Councilmember Lindsay then wondered what powers the Town Board would be taking on.  The Supervisor replied that there would be no new powers except in the case if a pipeline or power line wanted to come through Town, then they would have the power, as a Village, to say no. Councilmember English stated that the Board had never had a formal discussion on this subject.  Town Attorney Weiss countered that in fact, they had.  Councilmember English said that they had never formally compared the differences between the two kinds of municipalities.  Councilmember Lindsay wanted to know if this would mean that they could act as a Village when it was in their interest to do so such as if a pipeline was trying to come through Town.  The Supervisor suggested that they would take whichever rules were advantageous to the Town and apply them. Councilmember English again stated that they had never discussed this and the Supervisor replied that Town Attorney Howard Protter had stated, in public, multiple times that they could use the powers of the Town when it was to their advantage and use the powers of a Village when that was to their advantage.  Town Attorney Weiss commented that this had also been discussed within their law firm and their feeling was that since the new municipality would be within their rights to use the powers of a Town and a Village interchangeably, it would be foolish to pigeonhole those powers and make it impossible to use them as they needed.  She further commented that this question had been dealt with in the document they produced (FAQ document) to answer questions from residents. There was some further discussion on the subject of whether or not to send out a notification to residents following which the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember McMillen inquired as to when the next meeting of Councilmember Lindsay’s  Economic Development Committee would be.  He explained that he had been approached by several people who want to bring the Chocolate Exposition to Powerhouse Park in October.  This event would possibly bring as many as 9,000 people into Town.  Councilmember Lindsay replied that she was waiting to hear back from Bill Fioranti on the timing of the next meeting. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she had several things to discuss.  The first was the Community Choice Aggregation law, which sh was hoping they would pass. 
 Supervisor Rost commented that he was against this concept because he felt it was forcing a choice upon the residents when they might not want it.  Furthermore, it is an “opt out concept” which he felt was not favorable for the residents.  After further discussion, it was agreed to ask the attorneys to prepare a draft law on Community Choice Aggregation for the next Town Board meeting.   Next, Councilmember Lindsay suggested that the Board needed to request a quote from Orange and Rockland for the purchase of LED streetlights. 
The Supervisor said he was against doing this because the Town already has a program going with Orange & Rockland where they replace streetlights as they go out with LED bulbs.  He doesn’t see the need to change this agreement.  Councilmember Lindsay responded that the Town could install the lights all at once themselves  and thus it would be done much sooner than if they wait and do it by attrition.  The Supervisor replied “we have a roof to fix and other things that need to be done around Town.” 
Next, Councilmember Lindsay reported the draft for the Consolidated Funding Application  is due the end of July.  Supervisor Rost asked her what projects she was hoping to get grant money for and she responded that she had been to one seminar and was going to attend another at which several different agencies would be present. She hopes that she can come away from this next meeting with a list of projects that might be possible.  She added that these projects would need matching funds from the Town so she wanted to know if the Board would agree to put some money in the budget for this purpose.  Supervisor Rost replied that it would depend on what the proposed projects are. 
Councilmember English commented that he was hoping to “light the fire” under the zoning amendments again.  He inquired as to what needed to be done to get things moving.  The answer was that the Town is waiting for the final proposal from Town Planner Bonnie Franson.  Town Attorney Weiss added that the changes being made to the amendments had all been discussed so they would not need anything more than a vote from the Town Board once they had been submitted by  the Planner.  Councilmember English remarked that there had been “such a time lag,” that he would need to completely review the amendments. 
Councilmember Lindsay said she wanted to apply for a grant from Orange County Tourism as she has done for the last 3 years and was given permission to do so.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that No Parking signs have been installed on South Gate Road.  He also said the department would be starting cold mill paving on roads in Maplebrook as well as on Sylvan Way.  In August, these roads will be chip sealed. 

 

Public Comments:
Andy Berish announced that he has cancelled the July meeting of the Silver Dollars because voting machines will be set up for the referendum.
Norman Leckner suggested that instead of sending a postcard about the upcoming referendum vote, residents should be called. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned into an Executive Session to receive advice from counsel. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 10, 2019

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 28, 2019

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Town Board Meeting May 15, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm.  Councilmember Reardon was absent.

Supervisor Rost began the meeting by recognizing Pete Sovak and Chris Sonne both of whom died recently.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost reported that he had been working on the budget.  As such he has had conversations with both Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and Police Chief Abbott about the condition of their facilities and what if any work might need to be done within the next year. In other news, “the bears are back,” and the Town knows it, but people need to recognize that, for the most part, Tuxedo is in the woods and the bears are going to be around. If called, the DEC might remove the bears but they don’t take them very far and usually they are back within 24 hours. 

Department Heads Update:
Chief Abbott stated that he needs an agreement from the Board statingthat they want to participate in Orange County’s Stop DWI program. This is something that is done annually.  A resolution was made and passed unanimously.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his crew would be working on hanging flags and cleaning up the downtown area in anticipation of Memorial Day and the parade. As always, he also mentioned that there is mulch, topsoil and compost available for residents in the parking lot of Quarry Field and folks are welcome to help themselves. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Presentations:
Jesse Scott  from New York Power Authority (NYPA) gave a presentation about switching streetlights to LED and electrical vehicle charging stations.  To see a copy of his presentation, please click here.
Javiar Barios from Good Energy gave a presentation about community choice aggregation.  To see a copy of his presentation,  please click here.

Public hearings on new exemptions law and Senior exemption levels:
As discussed at the last meeting, these exemptions are no different from those that the Town has been giving historically but they are now being made official.  The only question pertained to whether or not  there was a written statement of the exemptions and the answer was yes, there is one on the Assessor’s wall.  It was agreed that this would be posted to the Town website.  The hearing was closed and the Board voted unanimously to formally adopt the exemptions.

Resolutions:
The following resolutions were passed:

  • a Resolution to grant Special Permit and Special Sign Permits for Memorial Day Community Picnic to the Tuxedo Park Library
  • a Resolution approving form of petition for the Proposition to increase Town Board Budgetary Allocation for the Tuxedo Park Library
  • a Resolution accepting the resignation of police officer Christopher Friedman
  • a Resolution requesting that  Orange County Board of Elections prepare for referendum Ballot and the use of the County’s voting machines for the Referendum scheduled for July 16, 2019
  • a Resolution approving Tuxedo Park Reality’s request for relief from the moratorium.  This will allow them to appear before the Planning Board
  • a Resolution to accept bids on Surplus Highway Vehicles
  • a Resolution appointing Victor Posta as Heavy Equipment Operator in the Highway Department
  • a Resolution to approve the Town Clerk’s attending the New York Association of Local Government Records Conference

New Business:
An organization has contacted the Town to inform them that they will be conducting a “Paintout” during which various people will set up easels around Town and, perhaps in the Village, to paint the scenery with the paintings then being sold at the Farmers Market.  No one seemed to know if the organization had contacted the Village for permission.  The Board said they definitely needed more information about this proposed event.  The Town Clerk volunteered to contact the woman to find out. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay announced that there would be a meeting of the Economic Development Committee on Thursday, May 16 from 4:00-5:30 pm.  This meeting will focus on what is called a SWOT analysis (looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to economic development in Town) and  subcommittees will then be formed to deal with different areas such as coordinating with property owners, events, ecotourism, etc. 
There was a discussion about the possibility of opening a coffee/bagel place in or near the train station.  There is no definite proposition before them but the Board decided they should look into whether or not they are open to this idea. 
Councilmember English reported having spoken with John Watson about the presentation made at the last meeting outlining their proposed Tuxedo Sustainability Park. Councilmember English offered to walk the property with Mr. Watson and his associates and he was told that they had discovered the property was under a conservation easement and as a result they are no longer interested in it.

Vouchers were signed and the Board adjourned into Executive Session to receive advice from Counsel. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting May 13, 2019

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Town Board Meeting April 22, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, April 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present with Councilmember Reardon attending via Skype.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost reported that he had been in touch with Tuxedo Farms representatives over the weekend.  Their infrastructure is mostly in place.  All of the work has been monitored by the Town’s engineers. They are entertaining bids from several developers.
Next, the Supervisor thanked Town Board members both past and present as well as Department Heads and Town employees for the work that’s been done to return the Town to fiscal stability.  The Town was recently able to make an additional payment of $26,000 on Highway equipment which will save the taxpayers $70,000 (they were able to secure a grant).  Just a couple of years ago, this would not have been possible. 
The Supervisor then commented that he had had an interesting conversation with his nephew on Easter.  The nephew mentioned that he had gone hiking in a location 3-1/2 hours away from Tuxedo.  The Supervisor asked his nephew why he had gone that far away when Tuxedo has so much great hiking and his nephew’s response was that while the hiking in Tuxedo was good, the trails he had traveled to were  in a great little town which offered several different pubs and other things to do as well.  The Supervisor suggested that this was a great example of why Tuxedo needs to remain focused on economic so that people will feel that same way about coming here.  He added that the Board had several great workshops with discussions about the zoning and he feels that they are on the way to making the Town more appealing to those who are interested in adding some of these attractions.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution settling a tax certiorari claim – was passed 3-1 with Councilmember McMillen voting no.
  2. Resolution to approve a Sign Permit for Tuxedo Farmer’s Market was passed unanimously.
  3. Resolution to enter into contract with the Woodbury Field & Stream Shooting Range – This is a long standing agreement so that the police can receive their training.  It was passed unanimously.
  4. Resolution of adoption of Building Department fee amendments was tabled.
  5. Resolution of adoption of Moratorium on Development approvals – this is pending the passage of upcoming zoning amendments.  It was passed unanimously.
  6. Resolution of adoption of supplemental regulations for private swimming pools - This will change the required fence height from 5 ft. to 4 ft. which is the state code regulation.  This was tabled.
  7. Resolution calling for Referendum on Elector-initiated Combined Incorporation and Consolidation petition – The law states that this needs to be set within 30 days of the public hearing on the petition which was held on April 1. .  The Referendum was set for Tuesday, July 16. 
  8. Resolution to introduce a local law and to schedule a public hearing for Real Property Tax Exemptions – This is for exemptions which the Town has been giving but they need to be made into a law.  The date was set for May 13.
  9. Resolution to introduce a local law and schedule a public hearing for Senior Citizen tax exemptions.  – This is also for exemptions, which the Town is already giving but it needs to be made a law.  This date was also set for May13.
  10. Resolution to set a public hearing for Homeland Towers. (cell towers on Ren.Faire property) This will be a joint hearing with the Town Planning Board and will be held on May 14.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele commented that she had seen 4 large bears (a mother and 3 large cubs) crossing the road just that morning.  She reminded people that this is the time of year to take in their bird feeders and to put their garbage out only at the very last minute before collection. 

Presentations:
1-Europa McGovern from Hudson Valley Regional Council gave a presentation on NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program.  To see a copy of this presentation, please click here.
2-Michael Coleman, John Watson and Bradley Francis gave a presentation on their proposal for Tuxedo Sustainability Park.  To see a copy of their presentation, please click here.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember McMillen and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported on the Town’s order to get the Highway garage property into compliance with the DEC so that the consent order can be lifted by the end of the summer. 
Councilmember Lindsay commented that she had held another meeting of the Economic Development roundtable.  These meetings are now public and she urged everyone to attend future meetings, which are usually held on a Tuesday around 4 pm.  They don’t have a date for the next meeting yet but she will make sure it is announced on the Town website when they do.  After one more meeting, they will be forming committees of residents to work on promoting development. 
Councilmember English would like to formalize the Board’s use of the Tuxedo.gov email accounts and would like to make sure that Board members get into the habit of cc’ing all other Board members on emails in an attempt to foster open communications.

Councilmember Lindsay noted that she had sent a letter to Senator Carlucci and Assemblyman Brabenec about the condition of Route 17 between Tuxedo and Sloatsburg.  Someone from Senator’s Carlucci’s office responded to her  saying that the Sewer District and the contractor are presently involved in a law suit and consequently the work has not been completed.  Efforts are being made to force the contractor to fix up the road.  Dale Mottola mentioned that Route 17 north of Town from Arden Road to Harriman  is almost as bad as the section between Tuxedo and Sloatsburg. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department had been fixing potholes around Town.  They also still have mulch, compost and topsoil available to residents (get it at Quarry Field). Work is starting on the East Village Bridge with the temporary bridge due to be installed shortly.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting April 22, 2019

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Town Zoning Workshop April 10, 2019

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Town Zoning Workshop April 8, 2019

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Notice of Town Zoning Workshops April 8, 10 & 15

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Town Board Meeting April 1, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, April 1, 2019.  Councilmember English was absent.

Public Hearing – Sufficiency of Elector-Initiated Combined Incorporation and Consolidation Petition:
Supervisor Rost began by explaining that this public hearing was required by law and the questions/comments would be limited, also by law, to very specific points about the validity of the petition which were outlined and left as a handout on every seat in the Room.  He added that if people still had other questions about the petition or the Town/Village Consolidation process, they would hold a question and answer informational meeting on Monday, April 8 at 6:30.  There is a workshop on the zoning amendments already scheduled for 7 pm on that night.  He further suggested that if people had questions, they should submit them to the Town Clerk who would in turn forward them to the Town Attorney for a response.  Finally, he stated that the petition had been brought to the Board by the residents.  It is something the residents are asking the Town Board to do, but ultimately it will be decided at the ballot box by the residents of the Town, not by resolution of the Town Board.  There were two individuals who had signed up to speak at the hearing and both of them declined after hearing what the Supervisor had to say.  The hearing was then closed. 

Public Hearing – CDBG Grant (Orange County Community Development Program):
Councilmember Lindsay explained that Orange County Community Development is a federal grant program processed and administered by the County.  For the past several years, Tuxedo has applied for the CDBG grant in hopes of updating the ADA accessibility for Town Hall.  This is what they are applying for again.. 
There were no comments and the hearing was closed.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost reported the following:

  • Replacement of the East Village Bridge will begin on April 15.  Work will begin with the construction of a temporary bridge.
  • The annual meetings of both LDCs were held last week.  The Tuxedo Farms LDC is fully compliant at present and the Tuxedo LDC will be brought into compliancy as soon as the annual audit is ready for upload into the state system.  This took a lot of work but the Town was able to get it done. There will be oversight by the Town auditor as well as regulatory compliance by legal counsel, Harris Beach.
  • The Supervisor contacted the Village of Sloatsburg regarding the Woodmont Hills Development (adjacent to Auntie El’s.) Since so many of our residents commute south every day, he wanted to make sure that the developer has all of the necessary permits from NYS DOT for the additional access that is going in.    
  • Several people have been complaining about the state of Route 17 between Tuxedo and Sloatsburg due to the sewer project.  Jake Matthews has sent letters to many legislators and others and Councilmember Lindsay also drafted a letter to our legislators demanding that some action be taken to improve road conditions. 
  • Last week the Supervisor was in contact with Steve Germano who is currently building his restaurant, Steve’s, on the old Take A Break site.  This project has been pushed back for a July opening and Mr. Germano is eager to get it opened.   Both the Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor have been in touch with Tuxedo Hudson Company about their properties in Town.  They are still actively looking for businesses to rent space within the IGA building.  Now that the weather is improving, they will probably do some more work on the outside of the buildings.  They feel that the constraint there is the amount of parking that is available.  
  • The Supervisor also checked in with Tuxedo Farms.  They are still in conversations with several builders and they are also still talking with Draggonsgate. 
  • The Supervisor will be meeting with Orange County in regard to several possible projects they feel he can be helpful with.  He reiterated that he is always happy to meet with the County and do whatever he can to help so that he sends the message that Tuxedo IS open for Business!

Agenda Items:

  • Town Clerk to Attend NYS Town Clerk’s Association Conference from May 5, 2019 – May 8, 2019.  This was approved unanimously.
  • Resolution to approve sign permit for St. Mary’s Church – the sign is to advertise a fundraiser for the Preschool and was approved unanimously
  • Resolution settling a tax certiorari claim by ASB120 LLC was approved by a 3-1 vote with Councilmember McMillen voting no.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay added the following things to the Town Board schedule:

  • April 9 at 4 pm will be the second meeting of the Economic Development group.  They had a great meeting at the train station but have decided to make it a public meeting so that more than 2 people on the Town Board could be present and to hold this next meeting at Town Hall so that more people can attend.  The meeting will be led by Bill Fioravanti, Orange County Director of Development and Councilmember Lindsay. 
  • April 22 during the regular Town Board meeting, Europa McGovern will educate the Board on the steps necessary for Climate Smart Certitication. 
  • May 13 during the regular Town Board meeting, representatives of the community choice aggregation group that Councilmember Lindsay has been working with will make a presentation to the Board. 

Deputy Supervisor McMillen reported on the progress being made at the mulch plant/highway garage.  He commented that they have made great progress there and are close to getting the consent order lifted.  The work is at 87% completion according to the DEC.  All of this has been accomplished at no cost to the taxpayers!  Nancy Hays wanted to know who was paying for it.  She was told that, Ben Veltidi, is operating the plant and has a lease but doesn’t have to make any payments while the former mulch pile is being cleaned up. 

Department Heads:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that they were wrapping up the tree trimming around town while they still have the lift, which goes back in a week.  Next, he announced that mulch, topsoil and compost are available at Quarry Field (parking lot, off Warwick Brook Rd ) Residents can help themselves to these.  Pothole repair and patching will start soon.  In another 2 weeks, the crew will begin sweeping the streets in Town.  Street sign poles will all be replaced so that they will be compliant with breakaway regulations.
Police Chief Abbott reported that officers are still looking for the American Legion sign, which has gone missing.  If anyone has any information about it, they are asked to please contact the police.  One of the Town Officers arrested someone with an illegal handgun.  The person turned out to be a convicted felon.  Detective Christian, Police Officer Eichengreen and Lieutenant Norton all contributed to this arrest. 

New Business:
The Supervisor announced that the Board had met in Executive Session immediately preceding the meeting and agreed to appoint John Banyo and Chris Kasker to the Planning Board.  Terms for these two gentlemen have yet to be determined.  A motion was made and passed unanimously.  A public hearing will be scheduled to change town law as going forward, the first year on either the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals will be probationary.The hearing will be scheduled as soon as the attorneys have it drawn up. 

Public Comments:
Sue Scher wondered how traffic leaving the Woodmont Hills development in Sloatsburg heading North, would be able to access Route 17.  The Supervisor responded that he hadn’t been given any information on that. 
Gil Delart inquired as to where the meeting minutes from executive sessions were filed because he hasn’t been able to find any.  He finds the Town’s meeting notices insufficient as he had attended the meeting tonight not realizing that the public hearings would be comment only. 
Mike Sinansky asked for an update on the status of the Red Apple property.  He was told that this was private property, which is for sale.  When asked why the Town doesn’t knock it down, he was told the owner had put a fence around it and fixed the roof so it is in compliance while they are waiting for a buyer. 
Houston Stebbins asked for confirmation that there would be a Q&A session about the consolidation petition on Monday, April 8 at 6:30.  He was told yes. 
Nancy Hays said that she had heard from people who live near the Tuxedo Farms property that there has been work going on there and wondered what the Board knew about it.  She was told that Tuxedo Farms is still doing infrastructure work as they are required to do in order to be able to sell the property. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Public Hearing for the Combined Petition for

Incorporation & Consolidation - Posted 3/30/19

Click here to view the FAQ document

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting April 1, 2019

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Two Public Hearings at the Town Board Meeting on April 1

Click here and here to view the Notices

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Notice of Town LDC Meetings March 25, 2019

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Town Board Meeting March 11, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost began by reporting that the Board has been working on scheduling public workshops for the zoning amendments that they are working on.  More information will be forthcoming as they are scheduled. 
Next the Supervisor stated that the Board is in receipt of the petitions to form the consolidated Village.  He thanked Janet Galuska for all her hard work in gathering the signatures and then said that when the time comes for the next steps in the procedure, Town Attorney Protter will explain in detail what is happening. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution approving Special Sign Permit for Steve’s Wood Fired Pizza- This was approved unanimously.
  2. Hire Consultant for Cellular Tower – The purpose of the consultant is to help write the language, which will be going into updating the zoning law. After some discussion about how many hours would be needed, it was decided to ask for this information and to wait to name a specific consultant until the Board had that information. The motion was passed unanimously.
  3. Resolution to Approve Film Permit – Possible Productions wants to film on the Renaissance Faire property on March 18 and 19.  The motion was approved.
  4. Councilmember Lindsay reported the following:  Climate Smart Task Force March 6: Met with Europa McGovern, our contact from the Hudson Valley Regional Council /NYSERDA who will guide us through the certification process.

The Task force discussed the following action items for certification:

  1. Rooftop Solar the Highway Garage
  2. Electric Vehicle charging stations
  3. Community Choice Aggregation
  4. Benchmarking energy in municipal buildings.

          The next steps for the Town will be:

  1. Education for town boards and public.  Schedule presentation from Europa McGovern, Community presentation on Climate Change
  2. Community Choice presentation from Good Energy
  3. Schedule training for Energy Code Enforcement for Dave Maikisch and Rob Dollbaum
  4. Review United Solar Permit
  5. Review financing options for Highway solar roof
  6. Start grant writing for CSC actions.

Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay stated that the next meeting of the Economic Development Committee would take place on March 12 and would include people from the County as well as various stakeholders from the community.  The goal is to identify ideas for sustainable development that will revitalize Tuxedo.   
Councilmember Lindsay also mentioned that she had heard that the Supervisor was planning on holding a workshop meeting with just 2 members of each Board and said she doesn’t understand why they can’t have the workshops with all members of the Boards. 
Supervisor Rost responded that the purpose of this meeting was just to go over what would be happening in the public workshops and hearings on the upcoming zoning amendments to make sure that the presentation made at both meetings is organized and that they don’t forget anything. If they were to hold these meetings with all Board members, it would have to be open to the public. Therefore, he has proposed the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of each Board (Town, Planning and Zoning) get together to work on the presentation.  Town Attorney Protter confirmed that it was perfectly legal for such a meeting to take place. 
Councilmember McMillen stated that he would like to see Town revenues reported to Board members on a regular, monthly basis.  He was told that this information was available in the regular monthly report.

Departmental Updates:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department is still working on trimming trees around Town.  As long as there is no more snow, they will be moving on to working on signs and signposts afterwards.  He is also making plans for repainting the bus stop in order to remove graffiti.  He inquired as to when the heat at the bus stop should be turned off and was told that it could be turned off now..

Board Discussion:
Councilmember Reardon inquired as to where the Board stood with appointments to the Planning and Zoning Boards. 
She was told that there was one remaining interview for the Planning Board seat.
Councilmember McMillen lamented that the Board had said they were going to fix this problem with the process for appointments months ago but they were still at a standstill. 
Councilmember Lindsay remarked that she had sent an email outlining some of her ideas for remediation but no one had responded to her.  She is concerned that if they don’t do something along the lines she suggested in her email, they will have to pass a new law.
Councilmember Reardon noted that the Board had interviewed candidates for these positions months ago and further stated that she felt it was rude of them not to follow up with a decision..
Councilmember English said that the Board hadn’t even had a discussion after the interviews to talk about how they felt about candidates and decide what they wanted to do. 
Councilmember Lindsay protested that they hadn’t decided about the terms for the positions to which Councilmember Reardon retorted, “it’s not about the terms!  We need to decide if we’re going to interview this last guy and then decide.  The terms can be figured out later.” 
Councilmember McMillen agreed that this had been the plan. 
Councilmember Reardon then stated that she felt that the decision should be made by the Chairmen of the Planning and Zoning Boards.  She believes that those individuals should come to the Board recommending the people they want on their committee and, after a cursory look at the people, the Town Board should confirm or deny appointment. The main decision should come from the Board Chairmen in her view.  She further added that if the Town Board were to choose the people, it would call into question the independence of the Boards. 
Both Supervisor Rost and Councilmember McMillen stated their support for the idea that the Chairmen should present their choice candidates to the Town Board, who would then interview and appoint.  The Supervisor said that he had checked with other municipalities and this is how it is done in many other places.  
“So you want the lower boards to do the outreach to get people on their Boards? Because I’ve never seen that!” Councilmember English stated.
“That’s because they haven’t done it,” responded the Supervisor “but that’s what I want to see happen.”
Councilmember English replied, “but that’s not where we’re at now!” 
There followed some argument between the Board members about what they had and hadn’t done and finally Town Attorney Protter suggested that the conversation should be taken into an Executive session where they could decide who of the people they had already interviewed they should appoint to the Planning Board. 
The Supervisor said he didn’t want to make a decision without having a conversation with Planning Board Chair Mike Reardon who was not present.  After some squabbling about availability, it was decided they would hold an Executive Session before the next regular meeting, on April 1, to discuss and decide. 
Changing the subject, Supervisor Rost stated that there had been some discussion about the Town hiring an appraiser to assist the Assessor and that they had all agreed this was a good idea.  A motion was made to issue a RFP for the position and it was passed unanimously. 

Public Comments: Claudia Bakhtiary thanked the fire department and police department for their service during the winter months.
Irene Denera expressed her displeasure with how the Board was interacting with each other and said she would like to see them stop arguing with each other and, instead, work for the Town.
The Supervisor responded that he thought everyone up on the dais wasworking for the Town, but that he didn’t disagree about the rest of her statement. 
Councilmember McMillen observed that arguments can also be “pure,” and many times listening to other member’s arguments has influenced his decision.
Councilmember Reardon stated that she didn’t need to be psychoanalyzed not did she think anyone else on the Board did. She further stated that she felt that the disrespect shown by Ms. Denera was unnecessary at a meeting, when people have no idea how much time and effort each Town Board member is putting into the work that they do. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting March 11, 2019

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting February 25, 2019

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Town Board Meeting February 11, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost began his update by reporting that Councilmember McMillen was still working with Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and the DEC to get the consent order (left over from the mulch pile!) lifted.  They are hopeful this will be accomplished by the end of October. The Supervisor is further working with Ben Veltidi and Jimmy Mottola to get some dirt removed from the Highway garage property.  This is a more cost effective solution than having the dirt removed in a dumpster by Waste Management!   Additionally, the Building Inspector gave Erwin Demarino orders to remove some dirt which is not on his property and which is located near the Ramapo river. 
The garbage contract will be up for renewal soon and Waste Management is looking for a $50,000 increase!  According to the Supervisor, a lot of that is due to fees from Orange County so he has been exploring the option of taking Town refuse down to Rockland County.  Should this be the direction the Town chooses to go, one of the big differences for residents would be that they would have to separate their recycling (glass/paper/cans).
The Building inspector has reported that Tuxedo Auto Body has removed 3 cars from their property in Southfields, which is a step in the right direction!
Finally, with bad weather predicted for the next few days, the Supervisor asked residents to please not park on the streets so that the Highway Department could do their job.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Solar Presentation – Highway – Superintendent Dollbaum reported that he’s been looking into installing solar at the Town Highway Garage.  He has been working with 4 different companies and feels that Tri State Solar would be the best fit for Tuxedo.  Accordingly, he had requested they be at the meeting to make a presentation to the Board. The proposal is for a least to own arrangement and the cost of the lease is about the same as what the Town is paying in electric charges on the site.    To see a copy of Tri-State’s presentation, click here
  2. Moratorium Relief Request from Homeland Towers – Homeland Towers (T Mobile) was represented by their attorney who stated that they had just submitted an application to the Planning Board to construct a wireless telecommunications tower near the Renaissance Faire property.  While the original construction would have T Mobile antennas, there would be room for other carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc) to install antennas as well. Currently, there isn’t sufficient coverage for the amount of visitors generated by the Renaissance Faire.  They feel this is as safety/security issue as well as one of convenience.  He pointed out that federal law provides for this relief and said that if the Board granted it, it would not mean they were approving the project but just giving them permission to back in front of the Planning Board with an application.  The Town Attorney was asked if she had researched whether or not the federal law applies here.  She responded that she had and it does.   Councilmember Lindsay stated that she had only received this request at 4 pm the previous Friday and felt that the Board needed more time to look into it.  Councilmember McMillen remarked that he had been able to spend time with the material provided over the weekend and he had no problem voting on it.  Councilmember Reardon said she was ready to vote as well.  The original vote was 4-1 with Councilmember Lindsay abstaining.  After it was emphasized to her that this vote did not approve or deny the project, but merely gave it permission to apply to the Planning Board where all necessary additional research would be done, she reluctantly changed her vote to yes but said she wanted to make sure the Town had a Telecommunications consultant to review the application.
  3. Resolution to appoint Part Time Police Officer – Kevin Bonkowsky was unanimously appointed by the Board.
  4. Resignation of Part Time Police Officer Laura Distanislao -  The officer also works for the Sherriff’s Department and didn’t realize she needed their permission to work for the Town as well.  After being hired, she put in the request and it was denied. 

Town Board Update:
Councilmember English said that in the spirit of the Supervisor’s plea for the Board to work together (at the last meeting) he hoped the Board would give him more opportunities to work with them. 
Councilmember Lindsay announced that March 6 would be the first meeting of the Economic Development and Tourism Task Force.  They will be meeting with Orange County’s Director of Development and Tourism as well as various stakeholders around Town.  She is also working on setting up a meeting with the Regional Council Contact for Climate Smart Certification and the Task Force she has appointed to work on this with her. Additionally she is working on getting funding for electrical vehicle charging stations in Town.  

Department Head Update:
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that the Department is still working on trimming trees around Town.  He added another plea for people to not park on the street during snow storms.  Councilmember English thanked him for the timely response on fixing a bad pothole in his neighborhood.  
Mr. Dollbaum also reported he is still working on getting the new sewer plant online and said he is hoping to have that done in about 6 months. 
Police Chief Abbott reported that a resident had called asking them about a possible scam involving a phone call saying that her computer system had been infected.  The department investigated and determined it was a scam.  He urged other residents, particularly senior citizens, to call with any possible scams they weren’t sure of. 

Public Comments:

There were none.

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned.

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting February 11, 2019

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Town Board Meeting January 28, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended via Skype and all other members were present.

The meeting began with Town Clerk Donna Matthews swearing in new Town Justice Alyse McCathern.  Supervisor Rost welcomed her to the team, commenting that the Board had put clerks in place before her arrival in the hopes that it would make her transition easier.  She thanked him and responded that the clerks were great and that she feels honored to serve the Town.

Town Supervisor Update:
Supervisor Rost began by saying that he didn’t think that the Town Board had done a good job of getting things done in the last year.  Consequently, he stated that in 2019, he would like his meetings to be meetings of action.  He cautioned the rest of the Board members that if there was information they needed in between meetings, they should ask for it so that when they arrive at the meetings, they are ready to take action.   He added that if there were discussions that individual Board members felt were necessary, such as with zoning or the comprehensive plan, then they could schedule a workshop for that purpose but henceforth he would like for the Town Board meetings to be meetings of action.   He went on to say that when audience members look at the Board during meetings, he believes that they are seeing a Board very much divided. Thus, starting at the next meeting he would like for Councilmembers Lindsay and Reardon to switch seats so that the audience doesn’t see 2 people on the left with viewpoints that typically differ from the 2 people on the right. This year, he concluded, the Board will work together; they will get things done and they will make things happen in Tuxedo! 
This was met by a round of applause from the audience. 
The Supervisor added that henceforth the Supervisor’s Update will happen in the beginning of the meeting and the Board’s comments and Department Head comments will come toward the end of the meeting.  
Councilmember English responded that he appreciated the notion of the Board working together and taking action.   He went on to say that he hoped the Supervisor’s updates would include news of all the meetings that had happened, remarking that he had been waiting a long time to hear what is happening with Tuxedo Farms and perhaps the Renaissance Faire property as well as things that related to the prospective zoning laws.  He reiterated that it had been a while since the Board had heard anything of substance with regard to Tuxedo Farms and he feels that the Town needs to have an update on this subject. 
The Supervisor replied that there was no update because there had not been any meetings at all with principals or others in regard to Tuxedo Farms.  Councilmember English said that if Tuxedo Farms is not going to move forward, the Board needed to find out what the implications to the Town would be and  make sure that the Town was protected. 
Councilmember McMillen responded that the Town needed to have vision but they can’t force Related to tell them what their next move will be.  It’s a private enterprise with private property. 
Supervisor Rost added that the Board needs to hear what Related plans to do.  The property is up for sale.  They are still in conversation with Draggonsgate and are entertaining other offers.  Nothing is currently happening.  In the past, when something has happened, either Andrew Dance has called the Supervisor or Related has contacted the Town’s attorneys.  This has not happened as of late because there’s nothing going on.  If there was, he would say so.  The last he was told, in a conversation about 3 months ago, and which he reported at a Town Board meeting, was that there was a bidding war going on between Draggonsgate and another entity (and he does not know the identity of the other entity) and since then, it has been “radio silence.”
Councilmember English then said he knew that the Town had heard from the owners of the Renaissance Faire and he wanted to know what that was about.  The Supervisor responded that the Renaissance Faire had very recently requested a meeting but that he had declined to meet with them without legal representation.  Thus he and Town Attorney Howard Protter had a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31.  When Councilman English then asked if they had any notion of what the meeting was about, he was told that it was about how the proposed zoning would affect their property. 
Councilmember Lindsay asked if the vision Councilmember McMillen had mentioned referred to the fact that the Comprehensive Plan was written with the understanding that Tuxedo Farms was going to happen? 
She was told yes, and that now that it looked as if the development wouldn’t happen, the Town needed to have a vision for that property. 
Councilmember Lindsay then wanted to know if the Board needed to revise or amend the Comprehensive Plan? 
Mr. Protter responded that they didn’t need to do anything because at this point as far as the Town knew, Tuxedo Farms was still a viable project.  Should Related sell the property and the subsequent owner want to do something with it that wasn’t spelled out in the Special Permit, then the Board would have to consider this. 
As far as the Renaissance Faire property is concerned, Mr. Protter said that the owners have indicated that they would like to zone a residential component and have been in front of the Planning Board to discuss that. 
Councilmember English wanted to know what density they were talking about but Mr. Protter didn’t have those figures.  Councilmember English then inquired as to which School District the residential component would be in? 
The Supervisor intervened at this point saying that at the end of the day, this has nothing to do with his Supervisor Update and he suggested that the meeting had been taken off track.  Councilmember English thanked him for taking the time to respond. 
Noting that the the new structure of the meetings as outlined by the Supervisor called for Board members comments to come at the end, Councilmember Lindsay wondered if any of those  comments required an action, where this would go? 
The Supervisor replied that if they needed a Board action, the Board should already know about it and it should be part of the agenda.  In 2019,” he reiterated, “we’re taking action!”
Continuation of Public Hearing – Police Disciplinary Law:
Supervisor Rost began by explaining that the reason the Town was updating the law was to save the Taxpayers some money.  Currently, if the Town were to take a disciplinary action with a police officer, it would have to go to an arbitrator and then perhaps a mediator.  Both of those people are very expensive.  Going forward, the Town is  proposing that if there should be a disciplinary action, the Supervisor would preside over it and decide if it needed to be brought to the Town Board in order for them to make the determination.  If this were the  case, The Supervisor would not vote with the Town Board.  This would mean that any such actions brought to the Board would have to be something so egregious that there would not be a 2-2 split in the vote. 
Councilmember English stated that he had some questions, starting with how would the complaints against officers be brought? He wondered if these would be just departmental charges and not criminal ones. 
He was told that the law would apply to all charges but that any criminal charges would be referred to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.  Most disciplinary charges are now handled by the Chief of Police and would continue to be handled this way. Charges would only come to the Town Board if they were something more serious or if the Chief didn’t want to handle them.  Basically, nothing will be changing if this law is passed except that instead of an action being referred to a mediator, charges will come to the Town Board, which will save the taxpayers the added expense of paying for the mediator and or arbitrator. 
Town Attorney Protter added that this is how things were done historically, and that passing the law would bring the procedure back to where it was years ago.  Councilmembers English and Lindsay continued to question whether or not the Supervisor should have the power to make this kind of determination with regard to disciplinary actions, further stating that the version of the proposed law that they had seen suggested that it would be the whole Board making the decision.  They both take issue with the process as proposed.
Supervisor Rost then called for a vote to close the public hearing.  The vote was 4-1 in favor of closing with Councilmember McMillen voting no.  He said he thought they should keep it open since Councilmembers English and Lindsay still have so many questions.
Supervisor Rost commented that it seemed to him as though the only thing being questioned was whether or not the Supervisor should be the person to decide to bring an action to the Town Board.
Councilmember Lindsay agreed.
Since this is the only difference in the current version of the proposed law, the Supervisor then asked whether there would be a vote to move things forward. 
Councilmember Lindsay wondered if they could vote at the next meeting after they had had a chance to think about it. She further stated that she would like them to have a discussion on this subject. The motion to pass the law as written with the Supervisor referring the cases was moved by Councilmember McMillen and seconded by Councilmember Reardon.  The vote was 3-2 with Councilmembers English and Lindsay abstaining. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Next, there was a swearing in for Marc Citrin as a new member of the Zoning Board of Appeals

Annual Reorganization Meeting:
The following appointments were made:

Supervisor’s Clerk

Shari Brooks

Supervisor’s Bookkeeper

Brian Sullivan

Deputy Supervisor

David McMillen

Deputy Registrar

Patricia Marsh

Deputy Town Clerk

Tracy Coviello

Marriage Officer

Donna Matthews

The yearly salaries were approved for the following Town Officials:

Supervisor

Michael Rost

$ 35,782.00

Town Council/Member

Kenneth English

$   7,039.00

Town Council/Member

Michele Lindsay

$   7,039.00

Town Council/Member

David McMillen

$   7,039.00

Town Council/Member

Valerie Reardon

$   7,039.00

Town Justice

Shaun Brown

$ 26,027.00

Town Justice

Alyse McCathern

$ 23,133.00

Tax Collector

Donna Matthews

$   6,000.00

Town Clerk

Donna Matthews

$ 58,350.00

Superintendent of Highways

Rob Dollbaum

$ 91,052.00

Supervisory Count Clerk

Claire Squillini

$ 50,923.34

Justice Clerk

Patricia Marsh

$ 32,303.18

Justice Clerk p/t

Barbara Ginley

$          19.10/hour     

Supervisor’s Clerk/Recreation Coordinator/Summer Camp Director/Payroll Coordinator/Permit Coordinator

Shari Brooks

$ 47,351.35

Town Bookkeeper p/t

Brian Sullivan

$  20,000.00

Account Clerk p/t

Brian Sullivan

$         20.60/hour       

Budget Officer

Michael Rost

No compensation

Assessor

Hugh Davies

$  30,000.00

Deputy Town Clerk p/t

Tracy Coviello

$          15.00/hour

Dog Control Officer

Thomas Murphy

$     7,979.92

Clerk Typist for Highway and Building Depts/Recording Secretary p/t          

Michele Reed

$          15.00/hour

Fire Inspector/Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer/Flood Damage Prevention Administrator

David Maikisch

$   60,294.26

Project Coordinator for Building Dept. Zoning Board, Planning Board/Recording Secretary for Zoning and Planning Boards

Deborah Villanueva

$   56,091.88

Board of Assessment Review/Chairman

Louis DeBrino
   (9/30/22)

$     1,552.21

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Edward Mattes
   (9/30/23)

$        554.14

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Edward Brennan
   (9/30/20)

$        554.14

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Marie Warniaha
   (5/8/22)

$        554.14

Board of Assessment Review/Member

Gary Phelps
   (5/8/22)

$        554.14

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Jeff Dowding
   (12/31/20 )

No compensation

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Gardiner Hempel, Jr.
   (12/31/22)

No compensation

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Edward J. Brennan, Jr.
   (12/31/22)

No compensation

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Todd J. Darling
   (12/31/23)

No compensation

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Charles Jones
   (12/31/19)

No compensation

Board of Fire Commissioners/Member

Peter Dedel
   (12/31/23)

No compensation

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board/Member

Maureen Rickard  
   (12/31/19)

No compensation

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board/Member

Joseph Rickard
   (12/31/19)

No compensation

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board/Member

Jean Ruffino
   (12/31/19)

No compensation

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board/Member

Leslie DeVore
   (12/31/19)

No compensation

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board/Member

Deborah Villanueva
   (12/31/19

No compensation

Zoning Board of Appeals/Chairman

Frank Peverly
   (12/31/20)

$       1,659.33

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Andrew Rogers
   (12/31/21)

$       1,200.98

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Marc Citrin
   (12/31/22)

$       1,200.98

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

George D. Langberg III
   (12/31/23)

$       1,200.98

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Russell Shaver
   (12/31/19)

$       1,200.98

Zoning Board of Appeals/Member

Alternate - Open

 

Planning Board/Chairman

Michael Reardon
   (12/31/23)

$        6,039.92    

Planning Board/Member

Ray Ferri
   (12/31/20)

$        2,740.31

Planning Board/Member

Rich Rigoli
   (12/31/21)

$        2,740.31

Planning Board/Member

John Ruel
   (12/31/22)

$        2,740.31

Planning Board/Member

Darren Maynard
   (12/31/22)

$        2,740.31

Planning Board/Member
(open)

 

 

Planning Board/Member
(open)

 

 

Town Counsel*

Jacobowitz & Gubitz

$      50,000.00   +
$180/hour non retainer items

Town Engineers*

Holzmacher, McLendon & Murrell P.C.

As per contract

Town Auditor**

Andrew Arias

Not to exceed $19,500

Planning Board Legal Counsel

Richard Golden

As per contract

Zoning Board Legal Counsel

Richard Golden

As per contract

Town Planner*

Bonnie Franson

As per contract

Town Veteran’s Officer

Paul Mitchell

No compensation

Town Historian

George D. Langberg, Jr.

No compensation

*until and if such time arises that a successor may be appointed pursuant to a Request for Proposals advertised in 2019.
***retained to review the books and records of the Town for 2019 and to assist the bookkeeper in the preparation of the Town’s Annual Financial Report and in accounting and financial matters which arise during the fiscal year 2019. 

There was quite a bit of discussion of which terms should expire when on the Planning Board as this had somehow gotten confused in the Town records.  Ultimately, the Board voted to accept the Reorganization document minus the Planning Board terms, which they will add as soon as they figure out who they want to put in the open seats.

 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution approving towing permit.  The application for Harriman Auto to be added to the towing list was approved.  There was a discussion about changing the towing list to assign one company per day as opposed to rotating the company with each call.  The Board will speak to all the towing companies and then revisit this concept. 

Board Member/Department Head Comments:
Councilmember McMillen asked for a description of and a discussion about the recently announced series of workshops to be offered at the Tuxedo Park Library by Councilmembers English and Lindsay on the subject of local government. 
Councilmember English responded that this was an idea of his that he had come up with on his own time and it had nothing to do with Town Board business.    He further stated that it had been frequently mentioned at Town Board meetings that there was a small pool of individuals who were willing and able to get involved on Boards in Town.  He wants to educate the public about how this works so the pool of available candidates might be increased. Materials for the series will come from the Comptroller’s Office of New York State.   When Councilmember McMillen asked Councilmember English if he thought he would be able to answer all questions about how the government worked, Councilmember English replied that it was a “study circle.” Councilmember McMillen wanted to know why this event couldn’t take place in the Community Room of Town Hall so that all members of the Board could be a part of it.  The answer was “I came up with this myself, Dave.”
Councilmember Reardon said she found it amazing that Councilmember      English had not answered any questions sent to him by email and that she found it exclusionary, disrespectful and hypocritical. 
Town Attorney Protter commented that perhaps this discussion would be better continued in an executive session. 
Councilmember McMillen responded that there was nothing secret about this discussion but that the whole series at the Library had been a secret from the Town Board. 
Councilmember English then asked if he was to teach a course at a local Community College, would he have to come to the Board and ask permission first?
Councilmember McMillen responded that if he were using his Town title, then yes he would need permission. 
The response was “if a Congressman was speaking at a Community College, do you think he wouldn’t identify himself as a Congressman?”
Councilmember McMillen retorted “if he was giving original thoughts, then yes, but you are not giving any original thoughts here, you are just reading from Comptroller’s Office handouts.”
Councilmember English replied “you should come!” to which Councilmember McMillen replied “if I come, we’re all violating the Sunshine law because it becomes an illegal meeting!” He went on to point out that Councilmembers English and Lindsay had not been appointed by the Supervisor to give these talks.
Councilmember Lindsay responded that the talks were legal to which Councilmember McMillen replied “if it’s legal, it’s definitely unethical!” When Councilmember English took exception to this statement, Councilmember McMillen said he would rephrase it to say it was “noncourteous.”  Councilmember Reardon added “it was unprofessional.”
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that his department was working on tree trimming.  They started in the East Village and were headed to the Grove next after which they would be working on the monument and then up into the Nursery and finally into downtown.  They will be working mostly in the residential areas.
He made a plea to residents to stay off the streets when it was snowing and to move their cars off the streets as well.  It is hard for the plowers to work around cars on the streets.   Next, he commented that the new lights in the commuter lot had been in place for about a year and so far the Town has saved $923 in electrical charges!  He hopes that as they progress through the rest of Town switching out the bulbs, they will save even more money. 
Councilmember Lindsay remarked that switching the light bulbs as well as perhaps switching to solar energy at the Highway garage would give the Town points toward certification in the Climate Smart Certification Initiative passed at the last meeting.
She next reported that she had met with Nancy Teed and Jason Schrammel at the School and that with the assistance of the Stem faculty students are going to help the Town do the energy audit necessary for the Climate Smart Certification. 
She also reported that she, Supervisor Rost and Police Chief Abbott had met with representatives from the DOT regarding the proposed northbound turning lane into Duck Cedar Plaza.  The DOT maintains that northbound there is enough sight distance and they don’t think it’s a problem. They also said that according to the traffic study submit by the Tuxedo Police Department, the average speed at the site was 62 mph.  At that speed, they feel that reducing the speed limit would result in more accidents.  Consequently they are talking about enforcing the speed limit combined with putting in some of the speed tracking signs that let motorists know what the speed limit is and how fast they are actually going.  They will also research how much land is available on the right of way on the other side of the road to see if it would be possible to put in another lane. 
Councilmember McMillen asked if there were enough property, would the cost of putting the lane in go to the owner of the building? 
The answer was yes. 
Councilmember Lindsay reported additionally that she had learned there was an Orange County Transportation Council which is currently headed by Warwick Supervisor Mike Sweeton.  The money given by DOT to Orange County for transportation projects is in turn handed out by this Council so she feels the Town should get in touch with them and get put on the list for this project.  The Supervisor volunteered to get in touch with them. 
Councilmember Lindsay said she had met with Orange County Economic Development head, Bill Fioravanti, as well as Amanda Dana, Travel and Tourism Head in the County.  It was their recommendation that the Town put together a meeting with stakeholders in Town, i.e. the Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society and they will come down and brainstorm what could be done here to attract economic development. 
Councilmember English referenced his report at the last meeting about meeting with officials from Sterling Forest State Park regarding the parking along South Gate Road and wondered what action items he should be pursuing from that.  He said an example would be signage.   There followed a discussion about what parking restrictions were being suggested.  They are considering restrictions on both South Gate Road and Buttonwood. 

Public Comments:
Dale Mottola stated that when the Duck Cedar Plaza was built, the owner at the time, Mr. Latini, was in close contact with the DOT so they should be conversant with what is going on at the site.  Councilmember Lindsay responded that there has been a complete turnover of people at the DOT even within the last year but thanked Mrs. Mottola and said she would pressure them to look into their files on the property.
Mike Reardon said he knew that this was not technically a Tuxedo problem since the property in question is in Ramapo, but he wondered how the Woodmont project (next to Auntie El’s) ever got permission for a second access, which was not part of the approved plans.  He feels this will create traffic tie ups that will affect everyone and will eventually mean that people will not want to move to this area.  )  He suggested that perhaps the DOT could shed some light on this subject. 

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting January 28, 2019

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Town Board Meeting January 14, 2019

The Town Board met on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm.  Supervisor Rost was absent.

The meeting began with a workshop with Town Planner Bonnie Franson to discuss the proposed zoning amendments, which have evolved out of the recently passed Town Comprehensive Plan.  To listen to a recording of the workshop meeting, click here.

Before approving the minutes of the last meeting, Councilmember Lindsay requested that the Town Clerk add details about the vote to move the duties of the  Architectural Review Board over to the Planning Board.  It was agreed that the minute would be revised to reflect that Supervisor Rost and Councilmembers McMillen and Reardon voted aye while Councilmembers Lindsay and English voted no.  

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
In the absence of Supervisor Rost, there was no Supervisor Update.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen, who was running the meeting, asked the rest of the Board if anyone had anything to report.  Councilmember Lindsay spoke up and said that she had been asked to give an accounting of her job as Economic Development liaison and offered to do it at this time.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen agreed. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she had been working on the Town’s economic development with a “multi-pronged approach” for the last 3 years.  As such, she said she has been developing relationships with many different organizations and attending numerous  workshops.  She has also been working on a new Town Center study with Town Engineer Al Fusco.  She and Mr. Fusco submitted a grant application that would cover the cost of the study but unfortunately they did not get the grant.  Now, the Town Board must decide whether or not they want to lay out the money for the study.  Mr. Fusco will be submitting a proposal, detailing how much the study will cost.  Councilmember Lindsay stated that she is in favor of this study because it would be helpful with grant applications, which always ask if the Town has any current engineering studies, which the Town does not.  She also stated that Orange County has a new Economic Development Director, Bill Fioravanti. Councilmember Lindsay has given him a tour of the Town, pointing out properties that would be available for economic development and will be meeting with him next week. 
Councilmember English next gave a report on a meeting he and Councilmember Lindsay had with Sterling Forest Park Manager Michael McElroy in regard to the parking problem that has been created by the recently opened bike trails off of South Gate Road.  They also spoke to Mr. McElroy regarding the approach to trails in the East Village and the resulting amount of litter.  Councilmember English feels that if the Town, Park Service and Trail Conference all work together, the problems can be solved. 
To read his report, click here.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Public Hearing on Police Disciplinary Local Law – Deputy Supervisor McMillen explained that in the past, when police discipline was necessary, the Town was forced to spend a lot of money for attorneys and arbitrators as per the police union contract.  Under this new law, the Town would be able to follow the “Walkill Rule” which gives municipalities the right to discipline police officers outside of the collective bargaining framework.  John McNamara was the only questioner and he wanted to know if this would make the Town responsible for things they hadn’t been responsible for before.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that it would not that he was aware of, but because they weren’t sure, the public hearing  will remain open while they familiarize themselves with more details. 
  2. Approval of Garbage Collection permits – The permits for Interstate Waste Services and Sterling Carting were approved through 12/31/19 unanimously.
  3. Resolution authorizing Agreement for Snow and Ice Control on Old Forge Rd. in Warwick­ – This has been in effect for many years but Highway Superintendent Dollbaum has managed to negotiate the price to $6000 from $5000 starting this year.  It was approved unanimously.
  4. Resolution Climate Smart Community Pledge -  Deputy Supervisor McMillen inquired of Councilmember Lindsay (who has proposed this resolution) what benefits there were for the Town.  She replied that there were many, but first and foremost, it would make the Town eligible for grants.  The first thing that would be required of the Town would be to create a Task Force.  Residents Jim Hays, Jane Garofano and Terry Anne Gmelch have all agreed to serve on the Task Force.  Another requirement is to complete an energy audit of the Town.  Council member Lindsay has been speaking to the Superintendent of School about having students do this audit.  There is a list of things the Town must do in the pledge and various points are awarded for the completion of each one.  A Town must accrue 120 points and then they become eligible for grants.  After some discussion, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the process. 
  5. Resolution Declaring Vehicles as Surplus and Authorize Bid for Sale – The Town has recently acquired 3 new trucks and this is the equipment they will be replacing. It was passed unanimously.
  6. Resolution to Approve Sale of Raffle Tickets by the Onyx and Breezy Foundation in the Town of Tuxedo – This is something that is requested and approved annually.  It was once again approved unanimously.
  7. Resolution Authorizing Execution of Agreement with Warwick Humane Society for 219 Animal Shelter Services – This is an annual appointment and it was approved unanimously.

Other Business:
It was agreed that subject to the availability of Town Planner Bonnie Franson and the Town Attorney, the Board would hold a continuation of the zoning workshop on Thursday, January 24 at 7 pm. 

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting January 14, 2019

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Public Hearing On Police Department Disciplinary Proceedings 1/14/19

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Town Zoning Workshop January 14, 2019

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Town Board Meeting December 17, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost began the meeting by announcing that Steve Germano whose restaurant, Steve’s, is being built on the old Take A Break site, has managed to purchase the lot next door to Steve’s from Michael Bruno and is planning on building an old fashioned dairy barn on the site. They will be serving homemade ice cream. 
Next the Supervisor announced that Moody’s has given the Town a positive rating.  While this is great news, Moody’s is still concerned about the size of the Town’s cash balance, which they would like to be higher.  Supervisor Rost is confident that within the next year the Town will be able to raise their balance and thus take the rating back into the “A”s.  He thanked everyone in Town who had helped to make this happen, including Superintendent of Highways Dollbaum and Police Chief Art Abbot as well as former Councilmember Loncar who was present.  This was greeted with a round of applause from the audience. 
Councilmember Lindsay reported that she was getting a lot of inquiries about the status of the turning lane on Route 17 into the Duck Cedar Plaza. She reported that they have now been given a case number by the State DOT and been told that a safety engineer will come down to look at the site in order to determine what should be done.  When asked whether there was enough land available to add a lane, she responded that yes there was plenty of land available on the other side of the road. The road with a turning lane would need to be re-engineered and then restriped. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish wanted to know if the zoning changes referred to in Item #1 were for the “amusement park” that might go into the Tuxedo Farms site.  He was told no, that the changes had to do with the Town’s Master Plan.  Since Draggonsgate has not purchased the Tuxedo Farms property as yet, the Town does not have anything to do with them.  Upon urging by Mr. Berish, the Supervisor said that if Draggonsgate did purchase the property and propose any kind of project there, the Board would have something to say about it. 
Former Councilmember Cliff Loncar stated that PIPC had recently put in a lot of mountain bike trails on and around Eagle Mountain but there isn’t enough parking for the people who are using them so those people are parking wherever they can including up and down South Gate Rd., and on the road leading into Maplebrook.  This has become not only an inconvenience but a safety hazard for the people who live in Maplebrook.  Mr. Loncar wondered what, if anything, the Town could do about it? PIPC does have a parking lot for the trails but it is not well maintained and it needs to be bigger.  There is plenty of land available for the lot to be expanded.  It was decided that the Town would speak to PIPC about this and hopefully get them to agree to both clean up the current lot and add more space onto it.  Councilmember McMillen pointed out that this same problem exists in the East Village with the trailhead that is located there.  It was agreed that the Board would look into some temporary no parking signs for the areas around the trails. 
Mr. Loncar also wanted to know the status of the radio tower he thought was slated to be built in the Maplebrook area.  It was his recollection that the Town was going to try to get a cell tower built on top of the radio tower.  The Board thanked him for reminding them about this project and said they would look into it.

Continuation of Public Hearing on Transferring the Architectural Review Board duties to the Planning Board:
Lili Neuhauser first read a letter from JoAnn Hanson which supported maintaining the current structure of the Boards. To read Ms. Hanson’s letter, click here.  Next Mrs. Neuhauser read her own statement, which was also supportive of keeping things as they are.  To read Mrs. Neuhauser’s statement, click here. 
Dena Steele stated that she was also in favor of keeping the Boards separate.  She feels that keeping them this way would lead to greater efficiency and thus a better outcome for the Town.
Jim Hays commented that at the last meeting, it was stated by a Town Board member that Tuxedo Farms had been held up by the Town and by inefficiencies within their process for reviewing development.  Mr. Hays emphatically disagrees with this notion and he proceeded to enumerate a long list of actions and requests for changes made by Related, which resulted in delays for the project.  Mr. Hays reiterated that it was not the ARB or the Planning Board that had held up the project but rather it was the developer himself.  To read Mr. Hays’ statement, click here.
Jake Lindsay spoke next and was also in favor of keeping the Boards separate.  To read his statement, click here.
Finally, Councilmember Lindsay read into the record a letter from Paola Tocci.  To read the letter, click here.
The Board then voted 3-2 in favor of closing the Public Hearing with Councilmembers Lindsay and English voting no. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Set Date of Public Hearing on Zoning Amendments – this is for the changes to the zoning resulting from adopting the Master Plan.  This item was tabled and the Board decided to hold a workshop meeting with their consultants.  The workshop was tentatively scheduled for January 15 depending on the Town’s consultants being available and having reviewed the Planning Board’s report.
  2. Resolution approving Woodlands Sewer rates.   There is, once again, no change in these rates.  They were quickly and unanimously approved.
  3. Resolution approving towing permit – the permit for Tuxedo Gulf was approved unanimously.
  4. Resignation of Joe Tripoli – Mr. Tripoli was the operator of the sewer plant.  There followed a discussion on the progress of the new sewer plant and what it will take before this (what is this?  Bringing it online?) can happen. 
  5. Resignation of Town Justice Samuel Newman.  The Newmans are moving and Alyse Terhune was elected to this position.
  6. Resignation of Fire Commisioner Ralph Brooks.  He will be replaced by Peter Dedel.
  7. Approval of Fire Commisioner Todd Darling – Mr. Darling’s term was renewed for another 5 years.
  8. Set a Public Hearing on Police Discipline local law- This new law will set a new process for disciplining police officers.  It will no longer be a matter of collective bargaining but will rest with the Town Board instead.  The hearing was set for January 28.
  9. Resolution to Accept Sludge Removal Bid – TAM Enterprise was the lowest bid and was awarded the contract for 48 months (through December 31, 2022).

10-Resolution Authorizing Purchase of Three Trucks for the         Highway Department – one truck is for the Sewer Department and two are for the Highway Department.  

New Business:
Supervisor Rost stated that the Town Board was ready to vote on the motion to transfer the Architectural Board of Review duties to the Planning Board.
Councilmember McMillen remarked that he had talked to many people and read manly letters as well as interviewed applicants who had complaints about the ARB.  He also said that he feels that there is a high talent base already integrated into the Planning Board. The Planning Board is legally set for 7 members and with the Town Reorganization Meeting set for January 28, there should be plenty of time to interview people for the 2 positions that are not already filled.  Thus he is satisfied with the procedure and is ready to vote and so he made a motion for the provision.
Councilmember Lindsay wanted to know what specific complaints had been made.  Without going into detail, Councilmember McMillen replied that the main complaint has been that there is no set of standards that the ARB has been following and thus it differed for every application. 
Councilmember Lindsay then stated that every single person who had spoken at the public hearings had said they wanted to maintain the  ARB and keep the Boards separate. 
Councilmember Reardon responded that those remarks came from people who came only to the beginning of meetings and then left.
Councilmember Lindsay argued that the vote was not on the agenda so there was no reason for them to stay.  She then questioned whether or not the Board could vote if it wasn’t on the agenda.  She was told they could vote on it under New Business.  She was also reminded that the public hearing had been open at the last 3 meetings. 
Councilmember Reardon seconded the motion The Board then voted 3-2 in favor of transferring the duties of the ARB to the Planning Board (and effectively dissolving the ARB) with Councilmembers Lindsay and English voting no.
There followed a discussion about the process of advertising and setting up interviews.  It was suggested that they should reach out to the people who had been interviewed but not hired after the last Reorganization Meeting.  They will also advertise the available positions in the newspaper and post them on the Town website as well as put notices in the Post Office and Library. 

Next, vouchers were approved.

Public Comments:
Frank Peverly observed that since Alyse Terhune had been elected Town Justice, the Zoning Board would need a new attorney.  He added that currently they were scheduled to meet January 22 but he didn’t think there was anything to come before them.  Supervisor Rost thanked him and said they would take care of appointing someone new.
John McNamara commented that he had been coming to Town Board meetings for about 3 years.  He added that while he understood why Councilmembers Lindsay and English were disappointed with the vote to merge the Planning and Architectural Boards, he also understood that at the present time, there are no big projects in front of the Town’s boards and he believes it would be possible to recreate an ARB if a big project should arise that would need such oversight from the Town.  In the meantime, in order to make things easier and more convenient for smaller projects, he felt merging the Boards was the right thing to do. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum stated that residents’ leaves would still be picked up but that they need to be put in bags from this time forward.  Next, he announced that the fire training area on the Quarry Field property had been given an address and had a fence around it.  He added that the fire departments understood that this was only temporary until the Town decides what they want to do with the property. Additionally, he said he had requested bids for solar for the Town Highway Department.  They want to put in electric heat run off the solar panels.  He had 4 bids and felt two of them were worth considering.  Next, he reported that the Highway Department employees had ratified their contract by a vote of 4-2.  Lastly, the Highway Department has arranged for a bucket truck from January 15 through March 15 and will be working on trimming trees hanging over roads at that time. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting December 17, 2018

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Town Supervisor Update December 11, 2018

Hello Tuxedo!

   Wishing everyone a very safe and happy holiday.  It was nice to see the kids come home from school for Thanksgiving and looking forward to seeing them during the winter break. 

I want to provide a financial update now that we are finished with the 2019 budget, negotiating contracts and our review with Moody's credit rating agency.  The road has been long and hard but we are coming to the end of our financial crisis in Town.  Barring any natural disasters, 2019 will be the end of our fund balance restoration.  We will have established a balance across all funds and fully funded contingency funds so that we will be able to address any future situation and avoid another financial crisis.  We were expecting a 5yr restoration plan and we will achieve our goal in 4yrs! This did not happen by accident.  I would like to thank all who are involved in managing our expenses every single day.  

We achieved this success because we continually got better at budgeting.  We were better at budgeting because the tracking and monitoring processes we implemented produced better information used on reports, reports we did not have in the past.   Our internal controls have improved as well.  Contract labor negotiations played a pivotal role in our ability to recover as quickly as we did.  These new labor contracts will set us up for success in the future as we will be able to sustain the controlling of costs.  I had a meeting with Moody's last week and their final report will be published this week.  In my opinion, the call went well and our gains have been measurable and sustained.  I fully anticipate a positive rating increase that the Town of Tuxedo deserves.  Please see the chart below to see just how far we have come.  For the 2020 budget year, the Town, outside of Village, should see a reduction in their property taxes if all goes well.  

 

Again, wishing you and your families a very safe and happy holiday.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Rost

Supervisor Town of Tuxedo

 

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Town Board MeetiNg November 19, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended by Skype and all other members were present.

The meeting began with three public hearings.

Public Hearing to Receive Comments on transferring the Architectural Review Board duties to the Planning Board:
Dale Mottola, the Chair of the ARB was the first speaker.  She read a letter that the Board had written in response to a request from the Town Board for their comments in which they expressed their opinion that the ARB “should remain intact and continue its role as a separate entity.”  They do not feel that the approval process would become more efficient as a result of this change but they do feel that they could have “more collaboration with other boards in order to help move the Town forward.” 
Jerry Mottola first wanted to know if Councilmember Reardon would recuse herself from voting on this proposal.  It was explained to him that the purpose of the public hearing was to gather public input only and that no vote was scheduled for this meeting.  Mr. Mottola further stated that as an interested citizen he had attended many ARB and Planning Board meetings.  He believes that each Board serves their own, separate purpose and thinks that’s the way it should be kept.  
Sue Scher stated that she is against the proposal of eliminating the ARB as she feels that the Town needs to have as many eyes on new projects as possible.  She believes that an array of people representing a variety of opinions should be reviewing projects as many of the projects brought before the Town are not simple and do not warrant a “simple review.”  She also feels that the Planning Board should remain at 7 members and not be cut down to 5.  She thinks that thoroughness, especially when considering complex developments, is more important than efficiency for protecting the Town.  
Irene Denaro said she doesn’t think the Town should get rid of the ARB but if they “need to downsize,” they should instead integrate the two Boards so that they could work collaboratively. 
Jim Hays began by expressing his opinion that as the Town “stands at the threshold of the beginning” of the Tuxedo Farms development, which is a very complex development, this is not the time to reduce supervision by the Town.  The Town has a responsibility to its citizenry to see that the project is built out and built out correctly.  He feels that reducing the number of eyes and the number of people who are involved is a huge mistake.  He wondered why the Town would want to move forward in this way.
Lili Neuhauser commented that she agreed 100% with Dale Mottola and Sue Scher.  She further said that if the Town has qualified people who want to serve, they should let them do it.  She commented that the Village had separated their Planning Board and ARB and discovered that they worked much better that way. 
Councilmember McMillen remarked that it sounded to him like people thought they were trying to eliminate the ARB function in the Town.  In fact, he stated, they were just trying to streamline the process.  Town code states that it is “desirable that the Chairman and 2 members of the ARB should be registered architects in the State of New York and that has never been the case since it’s inception.”  The code also states that the Building Inspector, the Town Engineer and Town Planner should act as consultants to the ARB and he feels that this is where the Town’s professionalism lies.  In addition, he noted that several people on the Planning Board are engaged in architectural vocations. 
Councilmember Lindsay commented that Jim Hays had asked why we would want to eliminate the ARB and added that she certainly does not want to eliminate them.  She also pointed out that there were candidates with architectural experience who had applied for position on the Board in March and there is an open seat on the Board at the moment. 
Councilmember McMillen stated that he is interested in looking at a solution, different from the ARB, that “won’t cause applicants so much pain and anguish” that they don’t get their projects done. 
Councilmember Lindsay responded that she had attended ARB meetings and found that they treated applicants with respect and only asked for what was required. 
Councilmember McMillen reiterated that at this point the Board was only discussing the idea and that there were no immediate plans to vote on it. He further commented that he sensed s a lot of angst in the Town and really, they were just having a discussion.
Maria May stated that she has been a teacher in Suffern for many years and watched what has happened there because of “a weak board and lack of supervision.”  She doesn’t want to see that happen in Tuxedo.  She feels, therefore, that the Town needs more eyes watching things and more voices in the process. 
Supervisor Rost pointed out that the approvals for the Tuxedo Farms property had already been given.  Furthermore, 77% of the Town is owned by the State with only 23% of the Town available for development. 
Paul Scott wondered what would happen if someone came forward to build on the rest of the land?
Councilmember Lindsay commented that the Renaissance Faire property could be developed and there is also a parcel on Warwick Brook Rd as well as one on Sterling Mine Rd. that could be developed.  She was told that the Sterling Mine Rd. property is in the Town of Ramapo and the Renaissance Faire is in a travel and tourism zone. 
Councilmember McMillen and Jim Hays then had a disagreement about what had happened with the Related property.
Councilmember Lindsay commented that the Planning Board had made their recommendation for eliminating the ARB and consolidating the function into the Planning Board without realizing that the number of members of the Planning Board had been changed way before the casino application and that it had been increased because of the pending Tuxedo Farms application. She would like the Town Attorneys to inform the Planning Board of the correct information about this because she feels they are basing their discussions on misinformation. 
Kelly Spranger remarked that it seemed to her that there was an “inherent issue” between lots of different Boards.  She wondered if it wouldn’t possible to come together as a community and streamline the work done by all the different boards in both the Park and the Town so that there is just one community looking at potential growth?
Todd Tereshkow stated he is a current member of the ARB and, as such, supports the letter read by Chair Dale Mottola.  He further commented that while they could consolidate the ARB and Planning Boards that he felt they should not do it because if the Town were to get all the projects that Councilmember Lindsay had mentioned, the consolidated Board would be in a difficult position.  He believes that the ARB serves a useful purpose. 
John McNamara asked whether or not the ARB could be reinstated at a later date should the need arise?
Town Attorney Marissa ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Weiss replied that yes, it could and that it would require a public hearing and then a vote by the Town
Board.
Dale Mottola commented that she wanted to respond to the implication that the ARB had been responsible for delaying projects.  In fact, she stated, the only time that an applicant had not gotten a decision at the first meeting was when the Board was not given materials to review. 
Councilmember English said that if they were to go through with abolishing the ARB, he felt they would need to move the requirements, as stated in the Town Code, for that Board transferred to the Planning Board. (The Town Code calls for the Chairman of the ARB to be an architect and for 2 members of the Board to be architects as well.  Currently, none of the ARB are architects.) 
Also, he feels there needs to be a clearly stated process for adding new members to the Boards which have staggered terms so that at least one seat comes up each year.  The Town policy for recruitment must be managed on an annual basis. 
Mary Graetzer suggested that the Town consider going back to a system of appointing alternate members to the Boards. Alternates attended Board meetings but didn’t vote unless one of the members was unable to be there.  This way, when an opening came up, there was someone who was already versed in the business of the Board available.  This system worked well for years. 
Todd Tereshkow commented that he felt it would be very beneficial if the Town Board, the Planning Board and the ARB could have regular, perhaps quarterly meetings so that they all could be on the same page and understand what is happening in the Town. 

The Supervisor then stated that the public hearing would be continued at the Town Board’s next meeting on December 10. 
Public Hearing on the Moratorium on Development Approvals:
Town Attorney Weiss explained that the current moratorium had expired.  It was put into place because the Town was adopting a new Comprehensive Plan and they didn’t want to approve something that might not be legal after the plan was adopted.  Also, they didn’t want any applicants to be caught between the two different zoning codes…the current one and one which will be adopted by the Town as soon as the Planning Board gets through reviewing it and offering their comments.  This will be the last time that it will be extended as the Town is in the process of reviewing the legislation to update the Code so that it is in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. 

There were no comments from the public and the hearing was closed.

Public Hearing on the Orange County Multi-Jurisdictional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan:
This Plan includes properties within both the Village of Tuxedo Park and the Town of Tuxedo.  When considering the Emergency Plan for these properties, key infrastructures need to be identified so that emergency services will know what is important. Also, there might be easements that should be given so that in the case of an emergency, the County could enter and be of help. Currently, there are some omissions in the document such as the Town Highway garage.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum has submitted a list of things that he feels should to be added to the plan.
Jerry Mottola commented that as a member of the former 911 numbering commission, he had spoken many times about problems with the numbering which he feels still exist today.  Also he feels no one has discussed the implication having a railroad coming through the Town
Superintendent Rost responded that the railroad had nothing to do with what has been requested by the County. 
Councilmember English added that the document mentioned flooding, severe storms, winter storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, ice jams and landslides. 
Following up the enquiry by Martin Levenhar at the previous Town Board meeting, Councilmember English contacted the DEC to see what plans were in place for their monitoring of the Hazardous Waste Dump.  He learned that the monitoring would continue indefinitely because the waste remains on the site. 
Jim Hays suggested that someone should keep an eye on the DeMarino dirt pile because it looks to him as though they are extending it close to the Ramapo River and anything that clogged the Ramapo could cause disaster for the East Village.  
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum explained that the Army Corps of Engineers had constructed a wetlands in that area and that DeMarino had not done any extensions. 
Todd Tereshkow asked if the Town had an official Recovery Plan.  The answer is yes.
Maria May commented that there was continually bad flooding on Route 17 in Southfields near Valero and also further south on the highway.  
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum replied that since Route 17 is a State Road, this is a State not a Town issue.

The Public Hearing was then closed.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost stated that the latest report from Cooper Arias stated that the Town’s cash balance is $1.1 million.  He further stated that the Town is really digging itself out of the hole it was in and he feels that by next year, it will be in good shape.  As the bookkeeper has suggested budget modifications that were never implemented, the Supervisor asked for a resolution to pass them.  This resolution was duly resolved and passed unanimously. 
The Supervisor will be meeting with the DEC in New Paltz on December 5.  Since it doesn’t look like the new sewer plant is going to be opening anytime soon, they want to discuss the state of the present plant.  The Town will need to figure out what they will do about this soon!
The Town is waiting to hear from the Highway workers about ratifying their contract.  The workers are waiting to hear from their union. 
Councilmember English is trying to arrange a Town meeting with newly elected State Senator Jen Metzger.  The Supervisor suggested that she might come to the next regular meeting on December 10 and Councilmember English indicated that he would ask her.  
Councilmember Lindsay reported that in the last month she had met with the new Director of Economic Development for Orange County twice and had given him a tour of all possible development sites in Town.  She also met with Amanda Dana, Director of Tourism for County who is very enthusiastic about Tuxedo’s access to state land and using that as a positive economic tool. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Resolutions:
The following resolutions were passed:

  • a Resolution to adopt the 2019 Final Town Budget
  • a Resolution to grant a Special Permit for the  Our Lady of Guadalupe Torch Relay Run – this is an annual event.
  • a Resolution to adopt the extension of the Moratorium on Development Approvals
  • a Resolution for a sign permit for the Tuxedo Little League to announce sign up dates. 

 

Public Comments:
Russ Shaver asked about the funding for the Powerhouse Concert that was held in October and also wanted to know why it had been held on the same day as Family Fun Day. 
He was told that both issues had been discussed several times over the course of last couple of meetings.  The concert was funded by a grant from County Executive Neuhaus given to all Towns from sales tax income.  Mr. Shaver was assured that someone would discuss the timing with him after the meeting as it had already been discussed at meetings publicly many times.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum announced that the Highway Department would resume picking up leaves if and when the snow melts.  If leaves are out, they will be taken. If it snows, he asks residents to please get their cars off the road so they don’t have to get the Police to remove them.  Also, he still has mulch available for Town residents. 
Kelly Spranger proposed that the Town build a Community Center for residents as well as an indoor pool.  She has discussed this with people from the school as well as the Supervisor and she has ideas as to how it could happen with very little cost to the taxpayers.  She feels that such an amenity could be used to market the school as well as the Town. 
Todd Tereshkow commented that the storm the previous Thursday night had been a disaster.  He felt the Town should discuss how to prepare for these emergencies and specifically how they could get out front of them.  He was told that most of the roads that had been problematic were State roads and that the Town has been in communication with the DOT about the storms.
Dale Motolla wondered how many signatures were needed on the petition for Town consolidation.  She was told 500 signatures of Town residents were needed.
Currently, there is only one petition although there are two separate referendums needed. 
Representing the Fire Department Gardiner Hempel wanted to talk about the new electronic sign that they have recently installed. He is aware that someone has already complained about it.   He explained that when the sign was plugged in, what came up was the default imagery by the manufacturer and this was loud and gaudy and meant to give an example of some things that might be possible. (As he described it, it looked like someone had hit a homerun at Yankee Stadium!)  As soon as Mr. Hempel arrived back at the Firehouse it was changed and it will not appear that way again.  The Fire District has passed rules that will govern what will be put on the sign and he handed those to the Town Clerk.  Organizations around Town are invited to submit their messages, within the Departments guidelines, to be displayed
Theresa Ruscillo commented that she is someone who is very “pro School” and as such is very pleased with the BOE’s recent decision to keep the High School open.  It has come to her attention that there are employees of the Town as well as members of the various Boards who do not share her opinion and she wonders what the Town is going to do to mend those feelings as she thinks it is important that the Town move forward collectively to support the School.
Councilmember McMillen responded that he had never discussed the School at a Board meeting.  Mrs. Ruscillo said that there were many people that had discussed it and she was told that these people had been speaking as citizens and residents, which they have the right to do.
Mrs. Ruscillo replied that for now, the high school is staying and she encouraged the Board to recognize that we should all be working together as one community to move forward.

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board MeetiNg November 19, 2018

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Three Public Hearings to Take Place November 19

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Town Board Meeting November 5

The Town Board met on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 7 pm.   Councilmember Reardon attended by Skype and all other members were present. 

Supervisor Rost began his report by announcing that he and the Board had just reviewed the negotiated Town Highway Department contract and that all were happy with it.  After not having received raises for the last 3 years, current employees will get a 3% raise.  Highway Department employees will also be moved off of the Town’s medical plan and are looking into their own plan.  The Town has agreed to contribute into a separate pension fund for current employees. 
The Supervisor added that he was excited about this year’s budget as 2019  should be the Town’s “break even year.” It had been forecast that it would take 5 years to get the Town out of the financial hole that they were in and they’ve done it in 4 years.  He thanked all Board members, present and former, as well as Department Heads for their help in accomplishing this.  There will be a fully funded contingency fund in each of the funds starting in 2019.  He also anticipates an increase in police coverage on the midnight shift.  Police Chief Abbott has done a great job of using the Town’s Part Time officers for all planned overtime, meaning that he has money left over to staff the midnight shift.  This news was met with a round of applause.
Next, the Supervisor reported that the DEC is “content” with the progress being made at the Highway Department.  The pile of stumps needs to be sorted but the Town is very close to having the consent order lifted. 

Public Hearing on Building Department fee changes:
Superintendent Rost commented that he wasn’t sure if the Town actually needed a new law or if they just needed to enforce the one that they already have. 
Town Attorney Protter replied that he had changed some of the language in the penalty section of the current law.  It now provides that if a resident should have obtained a permit but did not do so, they are subject to enforcement.  Thus the hearing was opened. 

There were NO public comments, and the hearing was closed. 

Public Hearing on the 2019 Preliminary Budget:
Andy Berish asked if the Silver Dollars (Seniors) had been included in the budget.  He was told that they had been.  He then wanted to know if they would be alotted the same amount as they had been given last year and was told that the amount had been slightly increased for this year. 
Speaking on behalf of the Tuxedo Historical Society Betty Langberg wondered if this meant that they, too, had been included in the budget and she was told that yes, they had been. 

There were no other comments on the budget and the public hearing was closed. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish asked for an explanation of the contract between the Town and the Silver Dollars.  Town Attorney Protter explained that it was a simple contract which stated that the Town was providing funds to the Silver Dollars and in return the Silver Dollars were providing social and entertainment programs to seniors in Town.  The contract doesn’t require the Silver Dollars to do anything more than what they are already doing, it just memorializes what is already taking place.   Supervisor Rost added that technically, the Town should have always had such a contract with both the Silver Dollars and the Historical Society. As they have just discovered this fact, the Town is moving to correct it. 
Mike Santoianni inquired as to whether  his request for relief from the building moratorium on behalf of the TPA would be considered at this meeting. 
Town Attorney Protter responded that Mr. Santoianni/the TPA were looking to build residential housing on property that is not zoned for this type of use.  He further explained that that it is not going to be allowed under the proposed new zoning ordinance either. This is why Towns have moratoriums.  He suggested that even if the TPA were able to make a case for allowing the residential housing, they would not be able to get through the process to obtain a building permit before the law would be changed.  The only way for them to

move forward would be to try to get the zoning ordinance changed.  He further stated that the standards for relief from the moratorium were very high and that the only way anyone can get relief is to demonstrate that they can’t get an economic return out of any of the uses that are otherwise permitted for the property in the zone.  He went on to say that just because the TPA had a proposed deal for a residential use is not satisfactory proof that they can’t use the property for any of the other uses permitted in the zone. 
Mr. Santoianni contended that they had commented and requested that this land be zoned differently when the Comprehensive Plan was being discussed and their request was ignored.  He added that he had  been trying to sell this property for research/office, the use for which is it legally zoned,  for 10 years and has not been successful. 
Supervisor Rost stated that the Town Board and the Zoning Board had been working with Mr. Santoianni with the last deal but it fell through for unknown reasons.  The Town wants to work with Mr. Santoianni. Following some further discussion,   it was explained to Mr. Santoianni that his next step would be to meet with the Planning Board and try to convince them that the parcel of land in question should be zoned for residential use.  Additionally, he could appear at the public hearing that the Town Board will hold before voting on the zoning, but unless the zoning is changed, he or his buyer won’t be able to build residential housing on the property and they won’t be able to get relief from the moratorium.
Betty Langberg wanted to know if the Architectural Review Board had identified any historic buildings that need special review.  Town Attorney Protter responded that he did not know.

Agenda Items:

  1. A Resolution appointing Laura Distanislao as a Part Time Police Officer was passed unanimously. As Ms. Distanislao was present, she was then sworn in by the Town Clerk.
  2. A Resolution to enter into a contract with the Silver Dollars was approved unanimously.
  3. A Resolution to enter into a contract with the Historial Society was approved unanimously.
  4. A Resolution to schedule a Public Hearing to change Town Law and move the Architectural Review to the Planning Board was discussed.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English would like to wait to wait until both the Planning Board and the Architectural Board have weighed in on this proposal before scheduling a hearing.  Supervisor Rost said he was not proposing that the Board take any action on the proposal at this time, only to set a Public Hearing so that the Board can hear what the public has to say about it.  Councilmember McMillen stated that he felt the proposal needed to be moved along as they have been discussing it for months and it feels like “an endless filibuster,” to him. He suggested they hold the hearing at the next Town Board meeting on November 19. The Supervisor added that they could keep the public hearing open until they had received comments  from the other boards if they wanted to.  Ultimately the motion to hold the public hearing on November 19 passed 3-2 with both Councilmember Lindsay and Councilmember English abstaining. 
  5. A Resolution to schedule a Public Hearing on extending the Building Moratorium for November 19th was passed unanimously.
  6. A Resolution appointing Andrew Markunis as Part Time Police Officer was passed unanimously.  Councilmember Lindsay asked for an explanation of what is currently happening with the midnight shift.  She was told that the Part Time officers were being used to cover all planned overtime.  Each officer is contractually limited to 1040 hours per year.  After the planned overtime is scheduled, the leftover hours are being used to cover the midnight shift.  Currently, since the year is drawing to a close, this means there is coverage for the midnight shift 5 nights a week.  This will probably change in the next year. 
  7. A Resolution to schedule a Public Comment period on the Hazard Mitigation Plan recently submitted by Orange County for November 19th was passed unanimously.  The proposed Plan will be available on the Town website. 
  8. A Resolution to extend the Planning Board’s period for comment on the proposed Zoning Amendments to December 18 was approved unanimously. 

Additionally, the Supervisor welcomed Village Trustees Maureen Coen and Paul Gluck.  He asked if they had anything specific that they wanted to discuss or comment upon, but they replied that they did not. 

Public Comments:
Jerry Mottolla inquired as to how long the ARB would have to respond to the proposed Zoning Amendments.
Town Attorney Protter explained that while the Planning Board’s response was set by Town law (they have a minimum of 45 days) the ARB’s response was not.  The Town Board was interested in their opinion, but if they do not have to respond if they don’t want to. 
Betty Langberg asked where the Town’s record storage is being moved to.  She was told that it hasn’t been decided as yet. 
Jim Hays wanted to know why there was such a long delay in appointing members to the Planning Board.  Supervisor Rost replied that since the Town Board was also considering reducing the number of Planning Board members from 7 to 5, it didn’t make sense to make appointments until they knew what the eventual number of members would be. Mr. Hays then stated that he felt that the possible reduction of members should be part of the public hearing scheduled for November 19.  The Supervisor responded that the reduction has not been proposed as yet but that the Board would be happy to hear people’s opinions on the subject. 
Martin Levanhar stated that when the Town had the hazardous waste dumb (across from Duck Cedar) the DEC had stated that they would be monitoring the site for 30 years.  He commented that this time period is almost up and wondered if there was a plan in place for what will happen next.  The Supervisor asked Town Attorney Protter to look into this matter.
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum announced that since it is “leaf season,” the Highway Department will be picking up leaves left curbside until the first snow or freeze.  After that, any leaves will have to be bagged.  He also commented that there has recently been flooding in both Laurel Ridge and Quarry Field and cautioned residents to be careful in those areas.  He added that, in his opinion, Laurel Ridge could use another exit.  Since they presently have only one exit (Sylvan Way) if something—like flooding—happens, no one can get in or out.   He suggested that the Town should look into an emergency exit via the abandoned gas line.  The area would need some grading before it could be used.  Finally he announced that mulch, top soil and compost is still available at Quarry Field for residents to come and take for their personal use.

There was some discussion about scheduling another workshop for the public on the subject of the proposed Annexation and Consolidation.  It was decided that Town Attorney Protter would propose some possible dates after which the public will be alerted. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned into an Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. 

 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting November 5

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Notice - Public Hearing on Town Budget November 5

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Notice - Budget Workshop October 18

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Town Board Meeting October 9, 2018

The Town Board met on Tuesday, October 9, 2019 at 7pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended via Skype.

Supervisor Rost asked Town Attorney Howard Protter to explain the fee schedule being proposed for “as built” permits as put forward in the law under consideration.  Mr. Protter responded detailing the fees as follows: for residential permits for work done ahead of receiving a permit – normal fee plus $1000.  For commercial permits for work done ahead of receiving a permit – normal fee plus $2000.   For a Certificate of Occupancy on work done without a permit, $500.  For inspecting a septic field, the fee will be $500 extra and for Fire inspections, $1000 extra. 
Several Board members spoke up and stated that at the last meeting (at which Mr. Protter was not present) Building Inspector Maikisch had expressed his preference for even higher fees than these, as he felt that the charges needed to be punitive in order to have any effect.  There would be an amnesty period during which residents would have the opportunity to pay the regular fees to bring their properties into compliance.  The feeling was that if the fees were not high enough, people might opt to just pay the extra fee and avoid getting a permit.  Councilmember McMillen commented “residents need to understand that one of the main reasons for the permitting process is for their protection and safety as well as making sure that the process was the same for all residents and thus ‘fair’.”  
It was agreed that the public hearing would need to be continued while a new fee schedule was drawn up but that if there was anybody present who wished to speak about this issue that evening, they would be heard.

Continuation of Public Hearing for Building Department Fee Changes:
Some residents had specific questions about their properties and whether or not a permit was required.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen reiterated that this was a public hearing about changing the fees in the building department and suggested that individual questions would need to be answered by someone in the building department especially since the Building Inspector was not present.
Kristy Apostolides stated that she doesn’t feel the amnesty period (currently in affect until March, 2019) was long enough.  She feels it should go for an entire year.  She was told that the Board would take another look at the amnesty period and discuss it.  Ms. Apostolides also felt that the Town should look at what other Towns do about this.  She was told that this had already been done and Tuxedo’s fees are currently way below everyone else’s. 
Jerry Mottola asked which properties would be grandfathered under the new law.  He bought his house from his parents and has permits for everything he has done to it but doesn’t know what happened before he bought it.  He was told that this would be handled by the building department.  Mr. Mottola also asked about people in the East Village who had damage to their houses during the 2011 flooding of the Ramapo River.  He was told that these people probably needed building permits for the repair work that had been done, but that the Town was not trying to hurt people.  Moreover, the goal is to bring everyone into compliance with the Building Codes. 
It was agreed that the public hearing would be continued until the next Town Board meeting on October 22.  There followed a discussion about how the Town would notify residents of the continued hearing.  It was decided that they would send out a post card to residents informing them and simultaneously asking them to visit the Town website to sign up for an electronic mailing list so that communication in the future could be handled via email. 
 
Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost began his report by mentioning that Building Inspector Maikisch has been very busy in Southfields.  Tuxedo Auto Body has filed a permit for a building to house all the cars that are currently stored on their lot.  This would bring them into compliance with Town Code.  The owner of the lot, which historically housed another auto body shop (now gone) has been cleaning up the mess left behind by that business.  There is more work to be done but they will be looking for a new tenant soon.  Some of the busses, which were being stored behind the American Legion building, have been removed and the Building Inspector is putting pressure on the owner of the parking lot to get rid of the rest of them. 
Next, the Supervisor gave Recreation Head Shari Brooks a shout out for her efforts with Family Fun Day, which was quite successful despite the rainy weather.  He also thanked Kim and Dave McMillen and Councilmember Michele Lindsay for their work on the Powerhouse Park concert.  While attendance for that event was disappointing due to the weather, those who were there feel encouraged by all the comments they got from people who attended about how wonderful the venue was.  The money invested in the event, which came from the additional $20,000 which County Executive Neuhaus had given to all municipalities will carry over to future events that are already being worked on.  When the contribution was first announced, the County Executive asked that the money be put into “travel/tourism” and/or economic development.  The concert series satisfies this..  Several audience members spoke up with suggestions for future concerts.  Dale Mottola wanted to make sure that a concert would not be scheduled on the same date as Family Fun Day again and was told that it would not.   Kristy Apostolides suggested that a committee be put together to work on these events and she was told that this would be happening. 
Finally, the Supervisor stated that he was continuing to work on the budget  and he has scheduled a Board workshop with Brian Sullivan to go over it.  The workshop will take place on Thursday, October 18 at 7pm and will be open to the public.

Public Comments:
Pat Barone said that the Billboard sign used to advertise the concert at the corner of Warwick Brook Rd. had too much information on it and was thus difficult if not impossible to read as one drove by.  She was told that it had been supplied by the concert producer and that the Town would take her comments into consideration for the next event. 
Town Attorney Howard Protter said that the Planning Board had indicated that they need more time to look at the zoning law, which has been referred to them.  By law, they have a 45 day review period.  The Board voted to keep the period at 45 days. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Town Board Meeting September 24, 2018 

The Town Board met on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost opened the meeting by reporting that there has been a lot of work going on at Steve’s restaurant (old Take A Break) and owner Steve Germano is optimistic that he will be ready to open in December.  Those who have travelled north of Town will have noticed that a billboard advertising the October 6 concert at Powerhouse Park has been installed at the corner of Warwick Brook Road.  The Supervisor thanked Dave & Kim McMillen and Michele Lindsay for all their hard work on this event.  Radio ads will be also be running leading up to the event as well as newspaper ads and coverage.  Councilmember English wanted to know what the budget was for the event.  He was told that since they had not known  that the they would be hosting an event of this nature, it had not been budgeted for.  The money will come out of the A fund and go into the Recreation Fund and proceeds from the event will go back into those funds.  The Town hopes to break even.  This particular concert is being looked as a “dry-run” for next year when they hope to hold a series of 8 concerts similar to this one.  Andy Berish asked about parking.  The plan is to first fill the lower lot next to Powerhouse Park.  Overflow will go into the school lots and there will be a shuttle bus taking people back and forth.  If the school lots become filled, cars will go into a new lot being constructed on Quarry Field.   Mike Yeager of Hickory Hollow Nursery has also donated his lot.  The Town has hired the same parking and security staff used by the Renaissance Faire and they will direct people as to where to park.  Supervisor Rost reiterated that the main reason the Town is having the concert is to bring people to into Tuxedo so they can see what the Town has to offer and to drum up support for our businesses. 
Supervisor Rost asked Building Inspector Dave Maikisch to give his thoughts on the proposed amendments to the Building Fees, which are the subject of the public hearing being held.  Mr. Maikisch explained that for years now, people have been finishing basements and adding on decks and additions to their houses without getting applying for permits.  Then when these people try to sell their houses, the title company checks and discovers that a permit was never issued and subsequently requests that this be rectified.   As the law stands now, all people have to do is apply for a permit, after the fact, and pay the same $100 fee that they would have paid to begin with.  Meanwhile, the Town is losing out on years of additional taxes and there is no guarantee that any of this work has been done safely or to code.  Therefore he has asked the Board to significantly increase the fees on “as built permits” issued after the fact and sometimes years later.  As drafted, the law raises the fee for these permits to $1000, but in discussion, the Board didn’t feel that this was enough of an increase to act as a deterrent.   Councilmember English inquired as to whether they could fine the contractors who were doing the work without a permit, but all the other Board members agreed that the responsibility for the permit lies with the homeowner.  The Board has the ability to change the amount of the fee during the public hearing process.  Discussion centered around raising the fee to $5000 if a permit was issued after the fact. 
Councilmember Lindsay reported having received a call from former Board member, Cliff Loncar complaining about the number of cars parked in a new parking lot on Butternut Road to service Sterling Forest State Park’s new hiking/biking trail.  It was agreed that she would speak to the NY/NJ Trail Conference about expanding the parking lot. 

Public Hearing on Local Law increasing the fees on “as built” permits: 
It was agreed that this law had not been distributed to the public but as the hearing had been advertised, Supervisor Rost said that the Board would hear anyone who wanted to talk on the subject and then continue the hearing until the next Town Board meeting on October 9
Jerry Mottola commented that he had bought his parents house, after which he noted that they had had a lot of work done on it, including an electrical upgrade.  He wondered if there was anyway to check to see if they had applied for a permit.  He was told to check with the Building Department, as they would have records of permits issued.
There was a brief discussion among Board members about when the increases would go in effect.  Mr. Maikisch felt March 1 would be fair and proper.  There was some feeling that residents might have to notify the Town before that.  Ultimately, it was agreed that the notification timeline would be announced at the continuation of the public hearing next month.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Councilmember English asked what Tax Certiorari entails.  Supervisor Rost explained that this item is to authorize Jacobowitz and Gubits to defend the town for 3 such proceedings in which 3 parties are challenging their tax assessments.

Agenda Items:

  1. Tax Certiorari – There are 3 cases in which tax assessments are being challenged.  The Board of Assessment Review has recommended that the Town defend all of them.  It was unanimously decided to do so

New Business:

  1. Budget modifications were proposed by auditor Andrew Arias in June and never passed.  They were approved unanimously.
  2. Highway Superintendent Dollbaum has requested a piece of equipment to clean snow off the sidewalks in Town.  The approximate cost for it is $40,000 plus an additional $12,000  for a sickle bar attachment.  Superintendent Rost recommended that the Town apply to the Hamlet Revitalization LDC for this amount and it was unanimously decided to do so.

Public Comments:
Dale Mottola asked about the updated petition for Town consolidation.  It was explained that the petition has indeed been updated and a requested FAQ on the subject has been written.  This will be posted to the Town website as soon as Town Clerk Donna Matthews is back in the office. 
Andy Berish thanked Highway Superintendent Dollbaum for installing mirrors on Nursery Road and Augusta Place, which he said has greatly improved safety on those roads. 
Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned

 

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Notice of Hearing September 24, 2018

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that there has been introduced before the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo, New York, on September 12, 2018, a local law entitled, “Building Department Fee Amendments,” which local law would amend the “Standard Schedule of Fees of the Town of Tuxedo” established pursuant to Chapter 37, Sections 15 & 16 of the Town Code to add new fees for those who fail to obtain building permits prior to initiating construction.
A complete copy of the Introductory Local Law is available for inspection at the Clerk's Office.       NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Section 20 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo, New York, will hold a public hearing on the aforesaid Local Law at the Town of Tuxedo Town Hall, New York, on September 24, 2018, at 7:00 P.M., at which time all persons interested therein shall be heard.
            The Town of Tuxedo will make every effort to assure that the hearing is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Anyone requiring special assistance and/or reasonable accommodations should contact the Town Clerk.

Dated:  September 13, 2018
                                                           

BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF TUXEDO
                              DONNA MATTHEWS, TOWN CLERK

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Town Board Meeting September 12, 2018

The Town Board met on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm, with Councilmember Reardon attending via Skype. 

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost stated that he had spent almost all of his time over the past several weeks working on the budget.  He mentioned that he had seen two patrol cars out on Route 17 on his way to work (at 4:30 am) and was happy to see that there is some midnight coverage happening.  He explained that the Police Department has now hired 6 part-time officers, which is all they are allowed by their collective bargaining agreement with the PBA.  The part-time officers are being used to cover planned overtime (i.e. vacations) and with any leftover hours, Chief Abbott is staffing midnight shifts. 
Both Family Fun Day and the concert in Powerhouse Park are coming up on October 6.  The Supervisor praised Highway Superintendent Dollbaum for the work done on all the parks in Town saying that they “look beautiful.” 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen was called upon to give an update about the concert in Powerhouse Park.  Noting that he had covered that fairly extensively at the last meeting, the Deputy Supervisor chose to talk about why the Town had chosen to host the concerts.  The theme of these concerts really is “Tuxedo is open for business.”  The Board wants to bring people into Town to see what there is to offer.  The concert will be promoted, with the help of Orange County via radio and newspaper as well as  a billboard, which is being built and will be installed at the corner of Warwick Brook Rd. and Route 17. Councilmember Lindsay has lined up some food trucks to provide food and drink including barbeque, the empanada people from the Farmers Market, a sandwich and burger person and others. In addition to the lineup announced at the last meeting will be Kate Yeager, an artist with Sony Records who is also the daughter of Mike Yeager, owner of Hickory Hollow nursery.  Tickets are $25 and are available online at www.tuxedopowerhousepark.com or Ticketmaster.   They will also be available on the day of the concert for either cash or credit card.  Deputy Supervisor McMillen also announced that Michael Bruno is a partner to the Town in the endeavor.  He will be catering the Green Room (for performers) as well as providing lodging for some of the performers. 
School Superintendent Nancy Teed interjected that the School Board had met in a special session right before the Town Board meeting and had voted unanimously to give the Town overflow parking at no cost.  She recognized that this was a good opportunity for the school to be seen by people who might not have seen it before.
Councilperson Lindsay reported on the Shared Services initiative she has been working on with Trustee Maureen Coen of the Village of Tuxedo Park.  They have settled on 4 proposals for the two municipalities to share: storage of road salt, the tax assessor, record management & storage and the courtroom.  The Village already signed off on these projects and the Town was due to vote on them that night.  A favorable vote does not mean that the projects will necessarily happen and neither municipality is bound.  Since the Town already has facilities for all of the proposed projects as well as a tax assessor, the savings would seem to be all in the Village’s favor.  Accordingly, the Village has agreed to share equally in any of the savings that they are awarded by the County. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Jim Hays wondered why changes to the ARB were being referred to the Planning Board and not to the ARB itself?
Supervisor Rost explained that by law they had to be referred to the Planning Board for comments. 
Mr. Hays then asked whether there was a plan to ask the ARB for their comments and he was assured that this would happen. 
He then wondered if the Planning Board was at full strength nd he was told that it was not.  He then wondered if the Board wouldn’t rather have them at full strength before this was sent to them for their opinion as he understood that there were several bright people who had applied for the positions.  He said he thought it would be good to have the new, bright members in place to give their opinions. 
Supervisor Rost thanked him for his comment and said the Board would take it into consideration. 
Mr. Hays’ second question had to do with the Bond Reduction for Tuxedo Farms.  He wondered what bonds would still be in place if the requested reduction was approved. 
Town Attorney Howard Protter explained that the bond in question was a bond covering completion of certain filling and grading operations at the site. It was for $265,000. The bond amount was established by the Town Engineer and approved by both the Planning Board and Town Board.   A majority of that work has now been completed.  The Town Engineer has inspected the site and determined that there is approximately $32,000 worth of work left to be done.  Thus, Related is looking for a reduction of approximately $232,000.  There are no other completion bonds in existence for this project.  This is because there is no requirement for bonds until the applicant files a plan and a map for the project. 
Mr. Hays then wanted to know what would happen if Related walked away from the propert, and specifically who would be responsible for cleaning up the property if that were to happen.  Mr. Protter responded that if they were to walk away, they would still own the property so they would be responsible.  Mr. Hays then commented that if Related walked away, the Town would be left with a mess.  An audience member called out that if the developer hadn’t been told no over and over again, this might not have happened.  Mr. Hays responded “oh come on!  You know they changed their plan over and over again.”  Mr. Protter than remarked that this conversation was inappropriate and asked them to move on. 
Counclmember English wanted to know if a bond was not required unless a plan was submitted, why would any applicant want to post a bond.  He was told this was because a developer could not start selling lots until a plan and map has been submitted. 
School Superintendent Nancy Teed thanked the Town and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum for the work that was done on the school bus parking lot. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution to appoint Patricia Marsh as Court Clerk for Judge Newman. - Councilmember English asked if there was a term for this appointment.  He was told no. He then stated that he was pretty sure we would have a new Judge after the November election and he wondered if that new Judge would have any say in whether or not they wanted this clerk.  He was told they absolutely would, however the purpose of this was to get Ms. Marsh trained so that the new Judge (Judge Newman is not running for re-election) could hit the ground running.  The appointment was passed unanimously.
  2. Schedule a Public Hearing for Building Department Fee changes. -  Councilmembers Lindsay and English requested that the Town Attorney give a clear explanation as to what this was for.  They also requested that this be done for all public hearings going forward so that people would know what the public hearings were all about.   Town Attorney Protter explained that this change was to try to discourage the numerous “as built permits” which are applied for.  These come about when people do building projects without getting any kind of permit but then when they go to sell their house, they need a permit so they apply for one although the work has already been done.  According to the Building Inspector, this happens a lot.  To discourage this and to make sure people who are building are following Town codes both for their sake and for the Town, it is proposed that if one applies for an “as built” permit after the fact, the fee will be the same $100 as it would have originally been plus a $1000 penalty charge.  In case of a commercial property it would be $100 plus a $2000 penalty.  The hearing was set for 7:oo pm on September 24. 
  3. Refer Fence law changes to the Planning Board – Councilmember Lindsay again requested that an explanation be included.  She was told that they were trying to bring the Town law in sync with the State law and that the first step was to refer it to the Planning Board.  It unanimously agreed to do so.
  4. Refer the proposed changes to the zoning law to the Planning Board. – These are changes that have come out of the Comprehensive Plan.  As part of the process, it has to be referred to the Planning Board for comments.  It was unanimously agreed to do so.
  5. Refer the proposed changes for the ARB Board to the Planning Board. – Supervisor Rost explained that since they were considering moving the ARB work to the Planning Board, before they could  make a formal proposal, have a discussion or a public hearing, it needed to be referred to the Planning Board.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English wanted the resolution amended to refer the changes to the ARB as well.  They were told by Town Attorney Protter that this could not be done because the resolution makes reference to a certain portion of the Town Code.  However, he added they could add another resolution referring it to the ARB. Councilmember Lindsay then reiterated that she thought this should be taken up only after new members had been appointed to the Boards so that all those people could weigh in.  She was told that the Boards had enough people to make a quorum so this would not be necessary but that her opinion had been noted.  The vote on this was 4-1 with Councilmember Lindsay voting no.  Supervisor Rost then added a resolution referring the changes to the ARB and that was passed unanimously.
  6. Resolution to appoint Patricia Marsh as Deputy Registrar was passed unanimously.
  7. Resolution to approve sign permit- The permit is for an 8’ X 4’ sign advertising the bank doing the financing on Tuxedo Manor apartments’ addition.  All members seemed to think the proposed sign was too big but no one seemed to know whether it was permissible under the Town sign law.  Ultimately It was determined that the sign was too big according to Town regulations.  The bank has requested that the sign to be  up for 2 weeks.  It was agreed that they would approve the sign if it were made to a size that would conform with Town regulations.  The vote was 4-1 with Councilmember McMillen voting no.  He suggested that the Board needed to take a look at the entire Sign regulations.
  8. Local Law extending Zoning Moratorium -  This was done because the moratorium has expired and it was passed unanimously.
  9. Sign permit – Tuxedo Recreation – This is a sign advertising Family Fun Day.  It conforms to the Town’s regulations and it was passed unanimously. 

10-Tuxedo Farms – Bond Reduction – Councilmember Lindsay that residents should have to look at the entrance to the development in the state that it is currently in for “who knows how long.”  She noted that as a condition of the recently granted filling and grading permit, the developer was told that they had to come up with a landscaping plan to be approved by the Town Planner.  However, all they had done was to put in some grass seed.  Councilmember Lindsay suggested that the Town Board to write a letter to the Planning Board asking them to request that the applicant to put something in that would do more to mitigate the look of the entrance since it is located right at the entrance to the Town and the thing most people see first when driving in from the south.  It was pointed out that the Town Planner had accepted the plan to just plant grass.  It was then suggested that a letter could ask the Planning Board to take another look at the entrance and see if what had been done really did mitigate the visual impact of the entrance on the Town.  Supervisor Rost pointed out that if they were to ask this of the Planning Board, then they should ask that all other properties near the entrance of Town be cleaned up as well.  There followed a lengthy discussion about what the Town Board could and could not do about the situation.  Councilmember Lindsay put forth a motion asking that the letter be sent to the Planning Board.  The motion was seconded by Councilmember English.  Councilmembers Lindsay and English both voted aye.  The Supervisor voted no, Councilmember McMillen abstained and Councilmember Reardon’s Skype connection had disconnected. 

Other Business:
It was proposed that the Board send an email to the County about the proposed shared services with the Village, taking the proposal to the next level.  This was unanimously agreed to.  There is no commitment at this time to move forward with any of the work. 

Public Comments:
School Superintendent Nancy Teed reported that at a meeting of the Board of Education held earlier in the evening, the Board had elected to sign an agreement with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to supply a School Resource Officer (SRO) to the School.  This is being done for the safety of the students.  She went on to say that the School had been working for several months with both the Town and the Village to put a local officer in the school for this purpose but the details could not be worked out so they had signed for one year with the County.  However, she wanted to share the sentiments of her Board, which were that they would all prefer to see a local officer in this capacity and they hope that any differences can be worked out prior to the renewal of this agreement so that they can go local with the next contract.  Councilmember McMillen stated that he wished the Town Board had known this was going to be proposed way before they did so that when they negotiated the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Town PBA (which is what sets how many part-timers the Town is allowed to hire) they could have negotiated that contract accordingly.  As it is, that contract only allows for 6 part-time officers, which is not enough to staff planned overtime, the midnight shift and an SRO officer.  He wanted to make it clear to Town residents that, contrary to rumors that he has heard around Town, the Board does care about student safety and security in the school.  Tuxedo Park Trustee Maureen Coen read a statement from the Village stating that they were definitely in favor of the security for the students and stood willing to supply an officer if everything else could be worked out. 
Andy Berish expressed some concern with the fact that the Silver Dollars have a meeting scheduled for November 5, which is the day before Election Day and he wondered if they would have a problem with an election set up.  He was told that it should not be a problem.
Councilmember Lindsay asked about the agenda for the LDC meeting scheduled for the following evening. Supervisor Rost told her it was a meeting of the sewer LDC. She had thought it was the Hamlet Revitalization LDC.  When she asked again about the agenda, she was told it was the annual meeting where they would set the dates for future meetings. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting September 12, 2018

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Notice of Meeting September 5

*****This meeting is an informational session for those residents who are interested in circulating petitions for consolidation*****

From the Town Clerk:

A presentation was given several months ago regarding an action that would give the Town the same authority as a Village and City.  We considered this action to strengthen our position in fighting the Pilgrim Pipeline.  Residents are eager to pass petitions to get the process started but they requested to meet with the Town's attorney so they can ask questions before collecting signatures.  Our attorney, Howard Protter will available at Town Hall 7pm on Wednesday September 5th to address any concerns you may have regarding this proposal.  Attached is the presentation that was given and it is also on our website. 

Click here to view the presentation

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Town Board Meeting, August 27, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present with Councilmember Reardon attending via video conference. 

The Board held an Executive Session at 6 pm in order to receive advice from Town Attorney Howard Protter.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost began by stating that all department heads had turned in their proposed budgets for the next year and he is now reviewing them and putting together the Town’s budget. 
In other, more exciting news, the Supervisor is working with Deputy Supervisor McMillen on putting together a concert for October 6.  October 6 is also Family Fun Day, but the concert will be held later in the day at Powerhouse Park.  He also announced that Steve Germano has started construction on Steve’s, a new restaurant serving pizza at the old Take A Break location.  Steve hopes to open by the end of November. 
Reporting on the August 21 LDC meeting, the Supervisor stated that Michael Bruno had been awarded $350,000 to renovate the IGA building; and Steve Germano was awarded $80,000 to help with his construction.
Commenting on the October 6 concert, Deputy Supervisor McMillen said he had long wanted to do something at Powerhouse Park and had begun by talking with concert producer David Kramer who has put together a line up for the event which includes Commander Cody, Reverend Jefferson (the remnants of Jefferson Airplane) Pat Jones (who plays with Pete Seeger’s Band, the Lost River Boys and is also a well known Jimi Hendrix tribute artist) and Englishtown Project, a Grateful Dead tribute band.  Since planning for the event got a late start, it was difficult to line-up any big names but they are hoping they will be able to put together a stronger line-up in the Spring.  As details get worked out, they will be announced on the website for the concert series which is
http://tuxedopowerhousepark.com.  The hope is that the concerts will bring more people into Town and familiarize them with our area.  Orange County is behind the idea and will help with promoting it. 
Dale Mottola wanted to know how they planned to coordinate the concert with Family Fun Day. 
It was explained to her that the concert would not start until later in the day when the Family Fun Day events were almost over.  Also, the general feeling is that the concert will likely appeal be to a different group of people than those who attend Family Fun Day.  The Town is supporting both events.  
Nan Klein had a lot of questions about the LDC meeting.  She wanted to know whether or not there was money in the Loan Fund and if not, why that was the case.  If there are funds in there, she wanted to know why couldn’t the applicant, Rowena Scherer, get any of it.
Supervisor Rost responded that the Town was working on all of this with their attorneys. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that under the terms of the Special Permit, Related was supposed to give half of the money that was promised (or $1million to the Grant Fund and $2million to the Loan Fund) when the Permit was originally signed.  However while Related did put $1 million into the Grant Fund, they had not put anything into the Loan Fund.  The applicant who was denied was looking for a loan, not a grant. 
Ms. Klein continued “so under the conditions of the Permit they were supposed to put this money in to the Loan Fund but they didn’t and they still have the Permit?  Are there any penalties listed in the Permit for this or has the Town come up with a penalty?” 
Supervisor Rost reiterated that the Board was discussing all of this with their attorney.
The Supervisor then asked for and received direction from Town Attorney Howard Protter with regard to changing some Town Laws.  First, he noted that the Town law for fences around swimming pools is a height of 6 feet while State requirement is 5 feet.  The Town would like to change their law to agree with the State. 
Secondly, the fine for As Built permits (work that is done by residents without getting a permit) is presently $250 and the Building Inspector has suggested that this should be raised to at least $1000.) Proposals for these two laws will be prepared for the next Town Board meeting. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she had noticed that the next Town Board meeting was scheduled for Rosh Hashanah and wondered if they could change it from September 10 to September 12.  It was agreed to do so.  She also wondered about the meeting scheduled for Columbus Day, (October 8) which will be rescheduled for October 9. 
From the audience, Norman Leckner wanted to know why the requirement for fences around swimming pools would be lowered. 
The Supervisor replied that they were proposing to lower it to the State requirement in an effort to help quell the perception that it is difficult to build or do business in Tuxedo.  Currently, the 6-foot requirement is higher than any of the others in the surrounding area.
Councilmember Lindsay next reported on Shared Services explaining that New York State has a new program whereby if two municipalities get together and share services, the savings that are realized are eligible for reimbursement by the State.  She emphasized that the savings were only eligible for reimbursement and there is no guarantee that reimbursement would happen.  Accordingly, she recently met with Trustee Maureen Coen from the Village of Tuxedo Park and they have come up with several proposals. One proposal pertains to records management at the Highway Garage and another to sharing salt storage at that location.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum commented that at the moment, there was no room to store the Village’s salt at the Highway.  He further commented that presently the Village owed the Town about 80 tons of salt that they borrowed last year and have not returned as of yet.  He cautioned that he has serious reservations about sharing salt storage with the Village at the moment. 
Councilmember Lindsay also mentioned that she was looking into a Dial a Bus program.  Accordingly, she has been in touch with Silver Dollars President Andy Berish asking him to see how manly of his members would use this service.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum stated that the Town did have that service (in cooperation with Monroe) back when he was on the Town Board but it had been given up because not many people were using it and it wasn’t profitable or affordable for anyone to continue it.  Presently Warwick has the service and is looking for someone to share the cost because it is underused there as well. 
Other recommendations for shared services are having one tax assessor for both the Village and the Town as well as allowing the Village to use the Town court facilities. 
Councilmember Reardon had some questions about the tax assessing. Apparently, the Town Tax Assessor already assesses Village properties but the Village does not necessarily adopt the Town tax roll.  It was agreed that more research needed to be done on this suggestion.  As far as the courtroom is concerned, the Supervisor stated that he had already told the Village they could use the Town Courtroom.  The final suggested shared service involves acquiring an ATV vehicle for “rescues in the forest.”  Councilmember Lindsay said she questioned who would be on the Rescue Squad and how would they would receive training.  She was told that the Fire Department already has an ATV, which is used for this purpose.  The vehicle was acquired via a grant written by the Police Department and is shared with them.
Finally, Councilmember Lindsay proposed two resolutions as a result of recent conversations with the State DOT.  The first one empowered the Supervisor to send a letter to the DOT requesting a turning lane into the Duck Cedar Plaza on Route 17 north bound.  This was passed unanimously. 
The second resolution requests a speed reduction on Route 17 in an area to be determined between the Hamlet and the intersection with Route 17A. 
This was also passed unanimously. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish wanted to know if the item about the bond reduction for Tuxedo Farms had anything to do with that property potentially  going from residential to an amusement park.  He was told it did not.  He then wanted to know what was happening with the amusement park.  Supervisor Rost responded that nothing was going on with that at the moment.  There is an entertainment company who has expressed interest in possibly buying the property but there are also  other builders who are interested in building there.  He then asked Town Attorney, Howard Protter to explain the bond reduction.  Mr. Protter explained that when Tuxedo Farms got permission to put build their roads, there was a requirement by the Planning Board that they post a bond for soil stabilization.  They have done the majority of the work.  The Planning Board had their engineer inspect the site and put together an estimate of how much the cost of any remaining work would be.  The original bond was $265,000 and the engineer estimates that they would only need $32,000 to finish the work so they are proposing to reduce the bond accordingly. 
Nan Klein inquired as to whether or not this was a performance bond.  She was told that it was.  She then said it was her understanding that a performance bond was to cover all the infrastructure in a project.  She was told that this was correct but it Related hadn’t filed a plan for any further infrastructure.  Ms. Klein then wondered if the Town was only holding $32,000 for the whole project?  Mr. Protter responded that this was only for soil stabilization.  Ms. Klein then wondered about the possibility of Related planting some trees along Route 17 while they were deciding what to do.  Mr. Protter replied that there is no obligation for them to do that.  Ms. Klein wondered if the Board could ask them to do it anyway.  Mr. Protter said that this would be up to the Planning Board.  Councilmember Lindsay then interjected that at the Planning Board meeting, improving the entrance to the development was made an obligation of the latest clearing and grading permit.  Ms. Klein then suggested that the Board had the power to refuse to return the bond money and it was explained to her that they do not as Related has fulfilled the requirements of the soil stabilization. 

Referencing the police report, the Supervisor asked Sgt. Doug Russell what was happening with the midnight shifts.  He was told that this was being worked on.  The part-timers are in the process of getting certified and will be put on duty as that happens.  When the Supervisor asked how many part-timers the department has, he was told a total of 6, which is what they are limited to under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Town and the PBA. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Michele Reed to propose construction of a Veteran’s Tribute Wall to be located in Town Hall – Town Resident Michele Reed would like to take a wall either in the Community Room or at the top of the stairs and install a heading and a painted frame in which they will hang pictures of all residents past and present who have served in the military.  She would request an 8X10 framed photo from the families of these men.  They would be hung on the wall under a statement like ‘our Heroes” or something similar.  She’s seen it done in other places and thinks it would make a great addition to our Town as well as being a great tribute to the men.  She would like the idea or plan to be announced on or around Veteran’s Day.  The Board told her that they were very receptive to the idea and asked her roughly how many people would be represented on the wall.  She responded that she did not know.  When asked, she said she had not been in touch with Paul Mitchell who has been so active with the Veterans in Town.  The Board said that they would need more information, such as numbers, so they would know how much space was needed before deciding on a location.  Councilmember Reardon volunteered to work with anyone who volunteered to help with this project. 
  2. Resolution Approving Sign permit for Rhinebeck Bank.  This Bank is doing the financing on the new construction at the Tuxedo Manor Apartments and has asked permission to put up a 8ft X 4 ft. sign advertising their part in the project.  The Board members all expressed concern over the proposed size of the sign.  They also wanted to know exactly would be written on the sign as well as how long the Bank wants to display it.  They tabled their vote on this resolution pending the answers to these questions.
  3. Resolution Approving Sign Permit – Masker Orchards – Deputy Supervisor McMillen pointed out that this business applies for these signs every year using the same application form.  A year or so ago, when Apple Fest and the Renaissance Faire unfortunately overlapped, there were problems for cars getting through the Faire site and Maskers moved the signs creating an alternate route up Benjamin Meadow Road and through Braemertown.  This causes havoc for those roads.  This year the permit actually says that they want signs for the alternate routes.  The Board ultimately approved the permits without the alternate route signs.  They will also add language statng that any violation (putting up the alternate route signs anyway) will result in a revocation  of the permit and all signs will be taken down. 
  4. Tuxedo Farms – Bond Reduction – Councilmember Lindsay asked Town Attorney Protter to explain exactly what the bond covered.  Specifically, she wanted to know if it covered all of the spine roads for the project or just a small portion of them.  She was told it was only for a small portion of the roads.  She then wanted to know if, as is her understanding, all the spine roads for the project have been roughed out why there wasn’t a performance bond for all of them.  Mr. Protter told her that there was no obligation to do that until they file a new plan.  The only reason to file a bond is to guarantee improvements will be made to the roads.  If instead a builder goes ahead and builds the roads and puts in the improvements before filing a plan, there is no need for a bond.  Without filing a plan, they can’t do anything with the property.  Councilmember Lindsay then stated that when she had attended the last Planning Board meeting, it was made a condition of the clearing and grading permit that Related submit a landscaping plan.  As far as she knows, all that happened was that they submitted a narrative stating that they would seed the area with grass seed. She doesn’t think much of that and would like to see it rectified so that the Town doesn’t have to live with the “awful eyesore” of the current entrance, and in order to ensure that something nicely landscaped is done there as per the condition to the clearing and grading permit.  Mr Protter replied that she could ask the Planning Board for that, but this was a separate issue from the bond reduction.  Councilmember Reardon suggested that the Board send a formal letter to the Planning Board asking for an explanation of the condition Councilmember Lindsay had described and asking them to figure out a way to get it done.  Councilmember Lindsay wanted to withhold the bond money until the landscaping was complete but Mr. Protter did not feel this could be done as the landscaping is a separate issue. Councilmember Reardon reminded everyone that the Town would still be holding $32,000 of Related’s money and suggested perhaps they could tell them that if they didn’t submit the landscaping plan, they would have a difficult time getting that money back.  Thus the resolution was tabled until the next meeting while the letter goes to the Planning Board.
  5. Resolution to approve Inter-Municipal Agreement between the Town, the Village of Tuxedo Park and the Tuxedo School District consenting to the use of Village Police Officers in the Schools. -  There was a discussion with regard to this agreement between the Town and the Village as it relates to the School District hiring an SRO Officer for the upcoming school year.  Chief Abbot was not present, but Sgt. Doug Russell represented the department in his absence. chool Board member Nancy Bourke was present in the audience and contributed to further conversation.  To listen to this discussion, click here.   At the end of the discussion, the Board decided to table this resolution while details were worked out between the various parties involved. 

Councilmember Lindsay then made a statement about what had happened at the LDC meeting a week ago.  She had done some research with the actual Special Permit document.  To hear her statement as well as the ensuing discussion with other Board members and Town Attorney Howard Protter, click here. 

Public Comments:
Dale Mottola wondered what was happening with the Town incorporation into a Village which was presented a number of months ago.  Supervisor Rost remarked he was glad she had brought the subject up as the Board wants to schedule a meeting with Town Attorney Howard Protter where the public can come and ask any questions they might have.  Mrs. Mottla then asked what progress had been made with this idea.  She was told that a petition had been drawn up and people were volunteering to walk it around town for signatures.  The general consensus is that people need more information.  Accordingly, Town Attorney Protter will meet with the public on Wednesday, September 5 at 7:00 pm to give an explanation of the concept and answer any questions from the public. 
Next, Mrs. Mottola wanted to know if there has been any discussion about bringing the new sewer plant on line.  She is concerned about how long the current plant can keep operating.  Councilmember Lindsay commented that there is a separate LDC in place, which has been empowered to issue $30 million in bonds for the construction of the plant.  She feels it would be interesting to hear where all that money has been spent.  She and Mrs. Mottola both wanted to know what the plans are in the event that Tuxedo Farms doesn’t get built.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum opined that eventually the DEC would be the ones to decide this. 
Town Attorney Protter stated that there is money in place to pay for this.  He added that the problem is that without additional hookups from Tuxedo Farms, there would not be enough flow and if the Town switched just the Hamlet over to the new plant, it would be a very inefficient system.  At the moment, the Ramapo is not being polluted and the present plant is in compliance although it is admittedly old and needs to be replaced.  The “Catch 22” is that it doesn’t make sense to operate the new plant for a small group of people who don’t generate enough flow.  If the DEC fines the Town, they can and will switch to the new plant.  If this should happen, the cost of running the new plant would be shared by Related and the sewer district.  Councilmember Lindsay commented that given the reluctance of Related to honor other agreements, she feels it would be important to have a meeting with them to make sure the Town is protected.  Everyone agreed. 
Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum reported that his department has been working on putting millings down on all the unpaved parking lots in Town.  They have also done work on Quarry Field.  He further stated that there has been a lot of illegal dumping around Town. 
Councilmember English wanted to know if they could put millings down in the secondary parking areas at the juncture of Routes 17 and 17a but he was told that this is PIPC property and the Town could not do this.  Councilmember Lindsay volunteered to call PIPC Head Jim Hall and discuss the condition of the area with him. It was also noted that communter busses had been stopping at illegal parts of the ramps going up to Route 17A which the police and others think is very dangerous. 
Marie May, a 20-year teacher spoke in favor of having an SRO officer in the school and said it would be important to have someone that knows the kids and who the kids know.  Supervisor Rost agreed and said that he feels that the Town police do a good job of spending time with/getting to know the kids in Town.

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned.

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting, August 27, 2018

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August 2, 2018

Dear Tuxedo Town Supervisor and Council Members:

I have been made aware that trespassing tickets have been issued to Town residents who traditionally have entered the Village without incident. The Village Officers are simply following our security protocols. We plan to post clear instructions at the gates for Village residents and guests entering the Park without automobiles. Non-residents, if hosted by a Village resident, are given access to the Park regardless of where they live. If entering the Park, please do not go under or around a closed gate. Instead, use the intercom to state your name and whose guest you are. Thank you for your cooperation and I am sorry if you were inconvenienced.

Sincerely,

David McFadden, Mayor

Village of Tuxedo Park

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Town Board Meeting, July 23, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost began his report by stating that there had been a lot of buzz around Town about the possibility of Tuxedo Farms being sold to Draggonsgate and added that any discussions about the project would be premature because Draggonsgate does not own the property.  He said what he could tell people was that if they were able to purchase the property, Draggonsgate would use the entire property for the project.  Their plan would be to hire roughly 2000 employees, most of whom would be actors and actresses.  They would have 6 different theme “theatres” i.e. Roman Days, Stonehenge, Vikings etc. which would be educational as well as entertainment.  They want to have 2 indoor movie sets for virtual reality and interactive activities such as video games.  They anticipate investing about $500 million into the project which they anticipate would bring about 3 million visitors a year.  The indoor facilities would be open year round but the outdoor facilities would be closed during the winter. The company is comprised of former entertainment industry executives, Broadway directors and actors and people from the video game industry.  Draggonsgate plans to build 10 parks globally and have recently purchased property in Atlanta where they are intending to build.  The Supervisor pledged that as he heard more, he would keep everyone informed. 
He also reported that Steve’s, formerly Take A Break has begun construction and Steve can’t wait to get up and running. 
It is getting to be budget time again and accordingly the Supervisor has asked all Department Heads to turn in their preliminary budgets no later than August 20.
Finally, Supervisor Rost reported that he had a phone call with Mayor McFadden and Trustee Coen over some issues happening in the Village.  Traditionally Town residents have been able to go into the Village to walk, jog or walk around the lake, but recently there have been 5 citations issued for trespassing to town’s people who have historically enjoyed these activities. Mayor McFadden stated that they were trying to tighten up on their security but after the phone call, he said he would be discussing the issue with his Board
and hopefully they would come up with some solution that would allow people to continue these activities. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she and Trustee Coen would be meeting on Thursday to discuss shared services between the Town and the Village.  She and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum were working on the application to get funding from the State for shared services. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Jim Hays commented that in regard to Draggonsgate, theirs is a very different kind of project than what the Special Permit issued to Related currently allows.  He wondered if the purchase were to move forward whether they would have to write and have approved a new Special Permit in order to would cover their proposed activity? 
Supervisor Rost responded that this was premature as they did not have an application yet. 
Mr. Hays replied that he felt this was something that should be looked into before the purchase was completed. 
The Supervisor replied that the attorneys would take care of it. 
Mr. Hays then stated that with either the possibility of Draggonsgate or the build out of Tuxedo Farms, there was a lot of work to be done by the Planning Board so he doesn’t understand why the Town Board is looking to reduce the number of Planning Board members as well as eliminate the Architectural Review Board.
In response, Supervisor Rost stated that the resolution on the agenda for this meeting was just to forward these suggestions to the Planning Board to get their input. Should they decide to move forward with any of it, there will be a public hearing. 
Jerry Mottola wondered why, if they were looking for input from the Plannng Board, they were not also asking for input from t he ARB?
The response was that this is a good idea. 
John McNamara commended the Board for the appointment of 3 part time police officers. 
Jake Matthews noted that there are a lot of historical buildings in Town. He urged the Boards to keep this in mind and, not to make the process of starting businesses slower or more difficult for people but rather to do it in a way that would be in keeping with the nature of what already exists. 
Agenda Items:
The following resolutions were passed:

  • A Resolution to promote Officer to Sergeant-Detective David Decker was promoted to Sergeant and took his oath of office.
  • A Resolution to appoint three part time Police Officers.  Adam Bruce, Brendan Eirand and Christopher Friedman were appointed.  Only Mr. Bruce was present and the Town Clerk administered his oath of office.
  • A Resolution to refer the proposed local law to change the Town Zoning Law by consolidating the functions of the ARB into the Planning Board to the Town Planning Board for review and recommendations.  Councilmember Lindsay stated that she felt that the Town Board should explore all possibilities for streamlining the process of applications before moving to this step.  Supervisor Rost reiterated that all they were doing was to askthe Planning Board to review the suggestion.  They are not taking a next step.  Councilmember Lindsay then asserted that there was a lot missing from the proposed local law and she feels that the Town Board needs to get it into shape before passing it on to the Planning Board for review.  The Supervisor responded that with this step, the Planning Board attorney would now be looking at the proposed legislation and before they decided how or whether to rewrite the it, he would like  to hear his advice.  Councilmember Lindsay next asked whether the legislation would move directly to a public hearing after the Planning Board had reviewed it.  The Supervisor replied “we just need to hear what they will come back with.  We can’t know what we want to do next until we hear that.”  Attorney Michelle Babcock (substituting for Town Attorney Howard Protter who was sick) stated that the process for a new law involves the Town Board sending the proposed law to the Planning Board for review and recommendation.  The Planning Board would have up to 45 days to issue their report.  After the 45 days, the Town Board could schedule a public hearing on the law.  Councilmember Lindsay then restated her opinion that the Board should work out the law completely before moving to this step. 
  • a Resolution to refer the proposed Revisions to the Town Zoning Law to the Planning Board for their review and recommendations  after the Town Board has met with Counsel and is satisfied with the document – these revisions to the Zoning Law are to encompass any changes made in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan into the Law. 
  • a Resolution to grant special sign permit to the Renaissance Faire for directional signs.  This is the same permit that is issued annually.
  • a Resolution authorizing execution of agreement for police coverage to the Renaissance Faire for the 2018 season.  This is the same agreement that the Town always has with the Ren Faire.  Councilmember English abstained because he hadn’t read the agreement.
  • a Resolution of acceptance of completed petitions which will allow a Library Funding Proposition to be included on the November, 2018 Ballot.
  • a Resolution to acknowledge receipt of the liquor license application and waive the 30 day waiting period for Tuxedo Hospitality Group dba Steve’s.
  • a Resolution to apply for the same CFA (consolidated funding application) grant applied for last year.

There was a discussion regarding updating the Town Sign Law.  Councilmember McMillen started by recognizing that the Town Sign Law needs updating. All were in agreement that local residents and businesses should not be charged for putting signs up but that they would need to follow certain guidelines.  There seem to be no time limits on sign permits as the School put up both a banner and lawn signs for the Stem Academy and never took them down and the Farmer’s Market puts signs up every year but doesn’t have any permit at all.  The recommendation of Councilmember English was that the Board review what was already in the Town Code and start from there.  It was agreed this would be done and that the Board would then have a discussion about what they think needs to be updated. 

Other Business:
The Village of Tuxedo Park Court will be holding a jury trial (People of the State of New York vs. Eric Yacknowitz) in the Town Courtroom on August 10, 2018 at 9:00 am and August 17, 2018 at 9:00 am if needed.
 

Public Comments:
Dale Mottola cautioned the Board that when reviewing the sign law in the code, they should be aware that there was a difference between permanent signs and temporary signs.  She also wanted to know if there was any news about the turning lane into the Duck Cedar Plaza.
Councilmember Lindsay replied that they don’t have any definitive new information yet but she has been in touch with someone at the DOT and they are working on it.
Nan Klein wanted to know if the Tuxedo Farms project was dead?  She said her only source of information so far had been the article in the Times Herald Record, which did not state that the project was dead.  She realizes that at any time someone can approach a property owner and offer them money for their land.  Secondly, she wanted to know who exactly had met with Draggonsgate and who had authorized the meeting? Thirdly, she said she was disturbed by the Supervisor’s comment that ”the attorneys will take care of” any possible zoning problems with the property.  She went on to explain that the only way that Draggonsgate would buy Related’s property was if they already knew that Tuxedo would be willing to drastically change the zoning.  “You don’t wait until they sell it and then have a lawyer look at it….that’s not the way it works!” she stated.  She further commented that the first thing the Board should do is research who the possible applicant (Draggonsgate) is.  She added that she had tried to research them and found that the principals of the company have experience but the company itself does not. In her opinion, it’s nothing more than a shell company….not that it’s a scam, but they have no experience.  She is not even sure the Town should want to do the deal as there are obvious environmental concerns that would have to be looked at and she feels that now would be the appropriate time to be looking at it.  She feels that the Town should not wait until the property has been sold to do their due diligence on the zoning and on the potential applicant, summing up her thoughts with “that’s not the way you do business!”  She also said “the Town doesn’t have to help Related sell the property.  It’s not up to Tuxedo to bail them out.”
Nick Balistreri commented that he would like to add that it has taken about 30 years of “rocketing negotiations” to get the project this far and he felt that this Board had downgraded the negotiations and cheapened the project.  If for any reason this property gets sold, he would like to see a reverter clause inserted into the negotiations stating that if someone else buys the property they would have to renegotiate the use.  He fears that there might be a straw buyer who comes in and as they might only be open for a few months or years, they will not make sufficient income to buy and run the property and thus they could then decide the sell it. 
Ellen Gluck observed that she thought it would make sense to have the configuration of the two Boards (Planning and ARB) when looking at this project as  it appears to be getting larger and larger and this proposal has, for her, as much concern as did the casino. 
Councilmember English asked for details about how the Supervisor had heard about the project and how the meeting had come to pass.
Supervisor Rost responded that the procedure was no different than any business that wants to come to Town.  He had been contacted by Andrew Dance  and met with the real estate broker..  Then he set up a meeting with people in the County because Draggonsgate would need their help in terms of incentives and tax cuts and things that are “above the Town.”
Councilmember Lindsay asked who exactly was at the meeting and the Supervisor replied that he was not going to name all 20 people Councilmember English inquired who had represented the Town?  
Supervisor Rost responded that he was there, Rick Golden, Larry Wolinsky and Mike Reardon as Planning Board Chair. 
Councilmember English then commented that he felt uncomfortable because a lot of people were approaching him for information and all he knew was what he had read in the newspaper. 
An audience member asked if this was a done deal and Tuxedo Farms was dead? 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she was the first she was hearing that the Farms Project could be dead.  She added that the Board needed to be proactive.
Councilmember McMillen wondered what they had to be proactive about? If Draggonsgate or anyone else should buy the property and then come to the Board for help and permissions, that would be the time to dig into whatever problems there might be. 
Supervisor Rost interjected that he didn’t think Draggonsgate would close the deal without coming to the Board first. 
Nick Balistreri repeated his opinion that the Town needs a reverter clause for the property.
Jim Hays stated that in his view it was not the Town’s fault that the Tuxedo Farms project had been delayed and it was also not the Planning Board’s fault.  However, he felt it probably wasn’t appropriate for the Board to sit back and wait for an applicant to come to them.  Instead, he feels they should be asking themselves what they might need to do i.e. what would happen to the special permit?
The Supervisor stated that they needed to wait to see if Draggonsgate was serious about the project.
Nan Klein wondered why they needed to wait until they determined that Draggonsgate was  serious?  She feels they ought to be investigating all these things right now so they could know if they wanted to get serious with them.  She then proceeded to state that she’d never heard of anything being done like this in her life.  The proper procedure, she feels, is for the Board to get every single piece of information on these people so that they could know everything about them.  Then, if they come to the Town, they will be in a position to know if they want to get involved with them or not.
Joe Hekl stated that he had been up on the Tuxedo Farms property recently and wondered if anyone in the Town knew that they had laid asphalt in the Commons area? He is puzzled as to why they would do that if they aren’t interested in building?
It was explained to him that Related still owned the property and had a perfect right to do that.  It could be considered an improvement to the property and might make it worth more. 
Nancy Hays asked if there was a Building Inspector looking at the property so that everyone would know about the asphalt.
She was told they are allowed to put tar down.  The Supervisor added that they are putting infrastructure in and there are engineers who up there on a regular basis looking at it. 
Councilmember Reardon then explained that the issues are not all Related’s.  Related just does the infrastructure and they are hearing from the potential builders that none of them want to come to come to Tuxedo.  When asked why not she said it was because of the price-point that the houses would have to sell for and also because of the state of the school.  She finds it ironic that many of the people in the audience were people who had been fighting Related for 30 or more years and now they were blaming Related for pulling out and not building. 
Jake Matthews encouraged Town Board members to go out and speak to builders who are building in other areas and ask them if they would want or be willing to build in Tuxedo.  On an entirely different note, he then commented that he has very poor cell reception in Town and he wondered why this was so?  He encouraged the Board to figure a way to get better reception in Town.  Finally, he commented  that his car was being ruined by the sewer project in Sloatsburg.  He has contacted officials in Sloatsburg as well as at the sewer authority.  He also feels it causes damage to the reputation of the Town for people to have to drive through that mess. Tuxedo is being negatively impacted by the state of the road.  He encouraged the Board to fight tooth and nail to see that the project gets brought to fruition as soon as possible. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum thanked resident Mary Hanson who rebuilt and reinstalled the Welcome to Tuxedo sign in the north end of Town.  Next, he reported that chip sealing had been done  and the department had installed a new walkway around Quarry Field which was larger and should be able to be plowed in winter making that walkway accessible to residents year round. 
 Councilmember McMillen thanked the Superintendent for installing mirrors on Augusta Place and in the Nursery making that a safer place to drive in and out of. 
Councilmember English requested that the Board organize an update meeting so that everyone, Board members included, would know what was happening with Tuxedo Farms.  He further said that he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear this information from Andrew Dance; he would rather hear from Town Attorneys and from Board members.  In his opinion the meeting should be well publicized so that everyone in Town could come and hear what is happening.  He feels that because so many people in Town only got their information from a newspaper article, the Board owes it to people to hold a big meeting and explain it to everyone at the same time.
Councilmember Lindsay commented that she agreed. She feels the Board needs to get more proactive because things with Tuxedo Farms are now at a critical juncture.
Councilmember McMillen agreed.  He feels they need to break the project in different scenarios of “what if” and then try to answer those questions.  He wasn’t sure, however, that the what ifs would lead to a positive communication so he feels that this can’t be done quickly. 
Nan Klein stated “it’s always better to tell the truth and tell people everything you know,” adding that people should not have to learn things from the newspaper.  She added that if the Board were forthcoming with the information, they would build trust with the people of the Town.

Minutes were approved, vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting, July 23, 2018

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Town of Tuxedo Supervisor Update

There is quite a bit of social media activity over the re-birth of Take-A-Break. First, I want to thank the Eberlings for the memories they created over the years and their commitment to the Town of Tuxedo. They will be proud of what is to come. Steve Germano has purchased the property and fully intends to restore it to it's former glory. Steve wants to preserve the architecture and history of the Town of Tuxedo. I met Steve 4yrs ago when he wanted to purchase the Red Apple Rest but was unsuccessful. I sking forward to the grand opening of Steve's!
Michael Rosttayed in touch with Steve over the past 4yrs and was finally able to convince him that Tuxedo is the place he wants to move his business to. Steve's first experience with Tuxedo came when he rode his motorcycle through our beautiful parks and he became enamored with the area. Now when Steve comes to Tuxedo he drives his car as he fears for his life on 17 in Sloatsburg but that is an issue for a different day! Steve runs a successful business pastapizzastore.com and he intends to use Steve's as his working showcase for customers while providing a much needed service to the community. Steve's will be serving pizza, pasta, panini's, ice cream and gourmet coffee. Steve is already looking at another business in the corridor and will soon be calling Tuxedo home as he will be relocating to Tuxedo.
Looking forward to the grand opening of Steve's!
-Michael Rost

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Town Board Meeting, June 25, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm .  Supervisor Rost was absent as was Town Attorney Howard Protter.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Councilmember Lindsay reported that she had a conversation with Town Engineer Al Fusco and would be filling out the Consolidated Funding Application for a grant of $75,000 to help with the engineering plans for a downtown revitalization project.  The Town  applied for the same grant last year, but didn’t get it.  The Consolidated Funding Application, much like the Common App for College applications, goes to anyone who is offering grants.  Councilmember Lindsay and Mr. Fusco will work on strengthening the application.  The other thing that they want to apply for is an electric vehicle charging station for the Town.  Councilmember Lindsay commented that she would be doing further investigation into what other towns were doing about fees for charging.
Councilmember Reardon suggested approaching Tesla to see if they would be interested in subsidizing a charging station and offered to approach them.
Councilmember Lindsay also mentioned having seen something from the Orange County Planning Department urging every municipality, including Tuxedo, to get involved in shared services.  She will be talking to the Village in order to determine what which services are already being shared so that they can “get points” for those and also to investigate any further opportunities for sharing services.
Deputy Supervisor McMillen asked if other Board members had anything they’d like to say. 
Councilmember English responded that he would like the Board to move forward with compiling and reviewing a list of all present members of Boards in Town and when their terms expire.
All Board members agreed that it would be difficult to appoint new members to a Board if they didn’t have this information.  Councilmember English added that he was looking to clean up the Town’s Reorganization document.  Until this has been done, he doesn’t feel they can move forward with new appointments.  He asked Town Clerk Donna Matthews to go through the Town records and compile a list of when all the current Board members were appointed. 
Coucnilman English then  requested if there was going to be extra worktime involved for this or any other Board related project that they try to schedule it for the two Mondays a month on which their meetings are being held. He has committed to giving these two days a month to the Town and if meetings are called for other days without notice he didn’t think it could be considered a fair roll call of the Board. 
Next, Councilmember English requested that the Board be given an update from Tuxedo Farms. 
The other Board members agreed that they would like this as well.  Councilmember Reardon commented that she wasn’t sure Andrew Dance would agree to come because he felt he was always beat up on whenever he did appear.  
Councilmember Lindsay remarked that Mr. Dance had gotten everything he wanted with the waivers last December but even those had not been finalized because he hadn’t sent them the information they need from Related’s attorney.  Additionally, she said that if the marketing plan for the project was changing, that would affect the financial projections which are a part of the SEQRA process.  Councilmember English added that he had questions about the LDC which funded the sewage plant which s something that most people don’t even know exists. 
Councilmember Lindsay said she had additional questions about the Indiana bat and whether it was on the endangered species list and if it would impact the property. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that he would get back on the phone with Town Attorney Protter in an attempt to get some of the answers to these questions. 
Councilmember English stated that several residents who live near him had asked about the road construction for which they see signs in their neighborhood.  The signs state that the construction could go on for a while so he wondered if a total repave would be happening. 
Highway Superintendent Dollbaum was not present but the other Board members assured Councilmember English that a total repave was not on the schedule. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen said he would call Highway Superintendent Dollbaum and find out or, he suggested, perhaps Councilmember English could do that as well. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen brought up the subject of the hikers who arrive on the train and bus from Manhattan and how they are littering as they walk through and around the East Village to reach the trails in Harriman Park.  This is a separate issue from the trashing of the bathrooms in the train station.  Ultimately, it was decided that the Town would put up signs leading from the train station requesting people not to litter.  They will also look into putting in a repository for trash in a convenient place so that hikers have an acceptable place to get rid of their trash.  Town Clerk Matthews also stated that many times the hikers are walking to the trail along East Village Road and they spread out as though the road were a path. When a car comes around the corner near the Lucky, they often don’t see the group of hikers until they are almost on top of them.  She is afraid there might be an accident there. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen  also mentioned that in the kiosk which was erected near the train station, the content is in bad shape.  Much of it has faded and there are bugs inside the doors as well.  He wondered who was responsible for updating the content.  Councilmember Lindsay stated that it was the Chamber of Commerce who was supposed to be in charge of the content for the kiosk. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen also commented that the kiosk in the parking lot at the bus stop on Route 17A has some physical damage done to it.  He added that if we’re going to have these kiosks in our Town, he thinks we’d want them to look good.
 Councilmember English volunteered to contact Supervisor’s Clerk Shari Brooks to see if she has a key to the kiosk. 
Councilmember Lindsay mentioned that she has a key. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish stated that he would like the Board to reconsider their intention to do away with the Architectural Review Board.  In his opinion, with projects from Tuxedo Farms and Michael Bruno, he feels its better to have more oversight. 
He was told that this was exactly the conversation the Board was attempting to have with the public by holding a public hearing.  The Board had no intention of voting on anything at this meeting; they just wanted to set a date for a public hearing. 

Agenda Items:

  • Discussion regarding Sign Permits with Code Enforcer Building Inspector Maikisch said he tried to keep up with the signs and that he regularly removed ones from events that had already happened.  The signs don’t usually provide contact information.  He doesn’t always know whether people have gotten permits.  It was agreed that going forward, the Town Clerk will notify the Building Inspector when a sign permit has been issued by the Town. 

Mr. Maikisch also requested that the Town look into changing Town Law to agree with State Law about fences around swimming pools.  Currently, the State Law requires a 4-foot fence around a pool while the Town Law requires a 5-foot fence. 

  • Resolution to approve Towing License for NJV Auto – this was approved unanimously.
  • Discussion to Schedule Public Hearing to Change Town Law and Eliminate the Architectural Review BoardCouncilmember Lindsay objected to having a hearing because she feels that there were many problems with the draft copy of the proposed law covering this subject.  Given that the Town Attorney (who drew up the law) was not present at the meeting, the Board ultimately decided to table this discussion until such time as they had a full Board present and the Town Attorney could be there with them. 
  • Resolution to approve Banner for St. Mary’s – the banner will advertise a country music concert being held at the church on July 7th.  Unanimous approval was given. 

Public Comments:
Andy Berish wondered if there was anything the Town Board could or would do about the bear problem. 
He was told all the usual advice about dealing with bears and Deputy Supervisor McMillen added that none of the usual suggestions would work if everyone in the neighborhood isn’t taking the same precautions.  He further advised that one could always call the police and that they would help, but this could result in shooting the bear. 
Jerry Mottola said that he had been told that he had to separate his garbage, but he noticed the contractors collecting both the garbage and recycling are just throwing it all in the same truck. 
Deputy Supervisor McMillen responded that the contractor had recently acquired a new sorter which was capable of separating out the recycling from the trash and he felt they were probably using that now. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned. 

 

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting, june 25, 2018

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Notice Of Town Board Executive Session June 19, 2018

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Town Board Meeting June 11, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost began by congratulating George F. Baker High School whose Varsity Baseball team won their division and went to the sectionals. 
The Supervisor expressed his concern about the proliferation of signs around Town. (i.e. The Greek Festival and the Honey Festival). 
Councilmember Lindsay pointed out that there is a $25 per sign fee that the Town has missed out on with these signs.  Also, she said, it doesn’t seem fair for the people who pay their permit fees.  
It was suggested that there might be a contact number on the signs and if not a number, then a website where one could find a number and contact the individuals who had put them up. 
It was ascertained that the Building Inspector was responsible for code enforcement.  He should be removing the signs and contacting the appropriate, responsible organizations.  Town Attorney Howard Protter read from the Town Code that the fine for putting up a sign without a permit was $250 per day!  It was decided that Building Inspector Maikisch would be asked to contact the people who had put signs up and to tell them they needed a permit or they would be liable for the fine. ($250 per sign per day.) 
Supervisor Rost announced that as per their contract, the Police Department needs to appoint a Sergeant (a replacement position) and it was decided that the Police Chief would interview the candidates and make the decision who to appoint and the Board would approve. 
Next, the Supervisor reported that the Building Inspector had asked for the Board to take a look at “As Built Permits.”  These are permits given when people go ahead and do work on their homes without going through the process of getting a permit.  Then, when they go to sell their home, they don’t have a Certificate of Occupancy for the improvements so they apply for and get an “As Built Permit.”  The cost for those is currently $100.  Meanwhile, the Town has missed out on the building permit fees and a possible raised assessment resulting in higher taxes.  After a discussion, it was decided that the Board would declare a period of amnesty during which people who had done work and not gotten a permit could apply for the permit at the present price of $100.  Starting in January 2019, there will be a fine of $2500 for these permits.  Town Attorney Protter will research what the laws are in other towns in Orange County for this situation and the Building Inspector will be asked to come to a meeting to give the Board more background information. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
There were none.

Agenda Items:

  1. Resolution Approving Grant – Electric Refueling Station was tabled as the grant isn’t due until the end of July.
  2. Resolution to Prohibit Electronic Device use during Executive Sessions – This was proposed because some members of the Board recorded interviews which were conducted during an Executive Session.  It came to light that although it was advertised that the interviews would occur during an Executive Session, the Board never formally entered into one.  Councilmember McMillen read from the Open Meetings Law which states that “matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension or removal of an employee,” are in fact eligible to be held in an Executive Session.  The Board members who were present said that the recording was not done with any malicious intent.  Also, the interviewees were told they were being recorded.  After further discussion, the board voted in favor of this resolution having been assured by the Town Attorney that there were free to declare an exception to it if they all felt it was important to do so.   Councilmember Lindsay added that they should have discussions regarding councilmembers texting during a meeting.  It was decided that there was really no way to police this as people used their phones to take notes and to do research during a meeting.  All the members stated their preference for not having texting occur during meetings

Other Business:
Councilmember McMillen commented that he had been thinking about communication with the Town at large.  He doesn’t believe that the existing email lists contain nearly enough emails to be comprehensive.  He proposed adding a form to the Town website where citizens can input their email address and opt in to receiving communications from the Town.  The alternative would appear to be sending announcements and information via “snail mail,” but that is very expensive.  Councilperson Lindsay suggested getting a notice put into tax bills but was told that the County sends those out.  She then suggested that perhaps a notice could be put in the water bill, but those are sent out by the Village and they only go to the residents in the Hamlet.  Ultimately, the Board decided that they would try to collect emails via the website.  They will ask TPFYI to publicize this and perhaps put an announcement in the Photo News as well. 
Councilmember Lindsay initiated a discussion with regard to training for Councilmembers.  It was pointed out that Town Attorney Protter can supply this kind of training.   He was asked to supply a menu of what kinds of training he could provide so that the Board could decide if they wanted to have some training in the future. 
On the subject of training, Councilmember Reardon commented that they had all gotten an email recently stating that all seated members of the Planning Board have now completed or exceeded their required training. 

Vouchers were then approved and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting June 11, 2018

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Town Board Meeting May 29, 2018

The Town Board met on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 7 pm.  Councilmember Reardon was absent.

Supervisor Rost opened the meeting by stating that the Town Memorial Day celebration had been a great one and thanking some of the people who had been responsible:  Councilmember Dave McMillen for his heartfelt speech, Shari Brooks and Bonny Takeuchi for organizing the parade, everyone at the Library for the picnic and Rob Dollbaum for making sure the Town was in pristine shape. He commented that this celebration was small town life at its best.

The first item on the agenda was a continuation of the Public Hearing to discuss reducing the Planning Board from 7 members to 5 members.  The Supervisor called on Town Attorney Howard Protter to bring everyone up to date on this issue.   Mr. Protter explained that the Department of State is where local laws get filed once they have been adopted.  Normally, filing laws with them is the last part of the process and the laws are invalid until they have been filed there.  In June of 2014, the Department of State’s records show that a local law was adopted increasing the Planning Board members from 5 to 7, however the Town Clerk’s office doesn’t have a record of the law being adopted and there is no record of a public hearing having been held.
Supervisor Rost interrupted to say that he thought the law had been adopted in 2012, not 2014. 
Mr. Protter responded that on the face of the local law, it says 2012, but in the body of the state form, it says it was adopted on June 20, 2014. 
Councilmember McMillen interjected that the law had been executed by the Town Board on April 14, 2014 and added that it also appeared in the Town’s ecode. 
Mr. Protter replied, “well, that’s a whole other thing,” and then added that his office had no record of that local law and they have done all of the Town’s local laws since 1996.  The local law’s form has the signature of Don Nichols (Town Attorney at the time) but Jacobowitz and Gubits has no record of it and they didn’t prepare it.  Therefore, before there are any further proceedings about this law, Mr. Protter recommends that the Town attempt to clear up this confusion. 

Councilmember English requested that when clearing up the confusion, it be stated clearly when everyone’s terms were up.  It was agreed this would be done.
Town Attorney Protter interjected that according to Town Code in 2000l, there were 7 members on the Board.  In 2006, membership was changed to 5 members because the Board was having a hard time getting a quorum for a meeting.  Then, in 2014, when the Town was dealing with the proposed casino, they went back to 7 members (but may or may not have filed this/changed it correctly/legally). Mr. Protter further stated that he would research this latest information and report back to the Board at the next meeting.
Councilmember Lindsay pointed out that several Planning Board members terms had expired without their being reappointed. 
It was also reiterated that the State’s copy of the law has a coversheet dated 2012 and language adopted in 2014.  Also, Jacobowitz and Gubits has no record of preparing the law.  
Supervisor Rost then made a motion to table the public hearing until the Board got more information and it was passed unanimously.

Next, Town Auditor Andrew Arias gave a review of the 2017 Financial Audit Report.  Having discovered a deficit of over $1million when this administration took over, they have been steadily climbing out of this position and are on track to have the deficit erased within another 2 to 3 years!  To see a copy of Mr. Arias’ presentation, click here.
Supervisor Rost commented that there had been a lot of tough choices and decisions made since he took office, but these are finally beginning to pay off.  He thanked Mr. Arias for his help in making this happen.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost reported that the Building Inspector has been busy in Southfields trying to get Tuxedo Auto Body into compliance.  (Currently they have been selling vehicles and they are not licensed to do that.)
Clean-up work continues at the Highway Garage property.  Ben Veltidi has hired someone to come in a grind up the stumps.  The DEC met with the Building Inspector, Town Engineer and Highway Superintendent.  They want an updated site plan for the property.  They also want to know how the Town plans to use the property once it is back in compliance.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum reported that they are almost in compliance. 
Councilmember Lindsay reported that the County paid a site visit to the Town Hall  for the purpose of looking at the projects the Town would like to do should they get money from the Community Block grant that they have applied for.  She further commented that there was another deadline approaching for a different grant, which would help the town install an electric auto charging station. 
Councilmember McMillen stated that he wanted to make something transparent. The Town has always tried to be open to hikers in the community, but he finds that they are taking advantage of this hospitality by causing damage to the train station and its facilities.  He went on to say that the Town has no choice but to close the bathrooms in the station on the weekends.  Over the past weekend (Memorial Day) there was an unbelievable amount of damage. 
Several members of the audience asked for details of the damage and they were told that the toilets get plugged up so people were relieving themselves on the floor. People also relieve themselves on newspaper and flush that down the toilets. Water in the sinks is left running and it is flooding the floors and the sinks are a mess.  It was suggested that the Town install the kind of faucets that turn themselves off after a few minutes and the Board agreed that this was a good idea.  It was also suggested that signs be put up announcing that cameras have been installed (and they have been) which would allow the Town to identify the people using the facilities.  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum confirmed that the hikers had been a problem for a while.  He further explained that Tuxedo’s station is the only one in the area with facilities so they tend to get all the abuse.  The Town can’t find anyone who is willing to clean up this disgusting mess any longer. Someone in the audience suggested that the Town contact the New York New Jersey Trail Conference for help.  From the audience, Sue Scher spoke up and said she was on a policy committee at the Trail Conference and had a meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday.  She said she would bring up the subject.  Marty Levanhar suggested that the Towb should contact other towns along the train line and find out how they deal with the problem.  He was told that Tuxedo is unique in what they offer.  Neither Sloatsburg nor Harriman, for example, has anything other than a platform when you get off the train there whereas Tuxedo has a nice building with restrooms and heat and air conditioning and a tv to watch!  Highway Superintendent Dollbaum further commented that it was a real problem.  He continued that Tuxedo wants to attract the hikers but he doesn’t see the benefit that they bring to the community.  They get off the train, make a disgusting mess in the train station, go off and hike for the day leaving their garbage behind and then leave.  They aren’t sticking around and doing anything in Town.  Superintendent Rost added that part of the problem was that the Junction had been closed.  The hikers used to go and trash those bathrooms instead when it was still open. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Pat Barone asked if the Ren Faire had petitioned the Town for zoning changes. The answer was that they have not.
With regard to the Planning Board, Lili Neuhauser commented that if theTown has candidates that are uniquely qualified, she thinks it’s hugely important to have the Board consist of 7 members.  Several audience members called out that they agreed with her. 
It was pointed out that it would be most useful if these statements could be made at an official public hearing on the subject. 
Mrs. Neuhauser remarked that she would come back at the appropriate time to do so.  
Supervisor Rost responded that the reasoning behind moving to a 5 member board was to help with the decision making process.  He added that the Town Board was considering moving the ARB function to the Planning Board. 
Mrs. Neuhauser interposed that the Village went through the same thing and ended up  separating the Boards and that now things run a lot smoother.
The Supervisor replied “if you’re a business owner and you’re coming into Town, you come in and you have to go in front of the Planning Board.   Then you have to go in front of the ARB.  If the ARB doesn’t like something, then you have to go back in front of the Planning Board.  And no decisions have been made.” 
And someone from the audience added “and those meetings are 30 days apart so look at the time it takes to get a project approved.” The Supervisor further commented, “the people who owned the Duck Cedar sold it because they said it was too difficult to do business in the Town of Tuxedo.”
An audience member commented that he didn’t know any municipality that made things easy for the applicant. 
The Supervisor responded, “we’re not trying to make it easy.  We still want applicants to go through the review process, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult and time consuming as it is.”
 Another audience member wanted to know how dropping the membership from 7 to 5 would make that process easier.
 The Supervisor remarked “We’re already at 5.  We added two to make it 7 when the casino was looking to come to town.  That project isn’t here any more so we don’t need any more than 5.”  Then he turned the question around and wondered why the audience thought they needed 7? 
Sue Scher replied “I think we need to be protected.”
Lili Neuhauser commented that she thought the Town needed to encourage volunteers.  If they have two who are qualified, then why not appoint them and alleviate the need for alternates.
It was pointed out that by serving as alternates, the volunteers would be receiving “on the job training” for a year and would be up to date on any and all projects before the board. 
Jake Lindsay observed that reality is that amendments have been passed to the plans for Tuxedo Farms and as a result the Planning Board is supposed to be working with the applicant to get rid of on street parking. Also, there will be townhomes that need to be relocated. And then, he continued, there will be the Ren Faire and Warwick Brook Road.  He stated that in his opinion, these are significant projects and the Town currently has a Planning Board that is “locked into one mentality.,” He feels that it needs to “open up a little bit more.”
Supervisor Rost responded that he felt these comments needed to be saved for the public hearing, which will be coming up. 
Pat Barone wondered if the Town’s zoning law was going to be looked at, would this be done at Board meetings?
Town Attorney Howard Protter replied yes.  He further explained that this was something that came out of the recently approved Town Comprehensive Plan which had been in the works for many years and had had several public hearings and been worked on in public.  Now the Board has passed the plan and it has been passed to the consultants, specifically the Town Planner and the attorneys, who are working on changes to the Town’s zoning code to make those changes to the code have been done, the attorneys will draft a local law encompassing the changes and when that is introduced there will be additional  public hearings.  When asked for a time frame on this, Mr. Protter replied that there had been a legal issue holding things up which needed to be researched.  This has been done and he is satisfied with the results.  The results have been shared with both Town Planner Bonnie Franson and Planning Board Attorney Rick Golden.  Once they have signed off on it, it will come to the Board.  It could be as soon as two weeks. 
Ned Kugel commented that in Airmont, there was a member of the Architectural Review Board who was an ad hoc member of the Planning Board and if  something came up that needed review, he was there to do it which eliminated the delay period between board meetings. 
 Supervisor Rost replied that this type of approach was what he was hoping could be worked out in Tuxedo. 
Marty Levanhar pointed out that Planning Board membership was a contentious issue.  He also noted that it was going to be summer soon and some people would likely not be around to attend meetings and get involved.  He wondered if the Board was a rush to pass these changes or if they could wait to move on it in the Fall when everyone was back.
The Supervisor responded that he didn’t think the Board had ever tried to “sneak anything through” since he had been in office and he didn’t plan to start now. 
Councilmember McMillen added that it had already been decided that this would be voted on in the Fall.
Changing the subject, Councilmember English wondered what was happening with the hiring of a deputy Town Clerk?  He added that he and Councllmember Lindsay had been asked to work on a job description for this position. 
Supervisor Rost commented that this was still in the works but he didn’t feel it was proper to have this particular discussion in public because it involves employees who are currently working for the Town. 

Agenda Items:
The following resolutions were approved:

  • A Resolution to approve St. Mary’s in Tuxedo to display the following signs on Route 17: June 9th-Sponsored bike ride in the Park; June 16th – Community Yard Sale in St. Mary’s parking lot;July 7th – Country Rock Concert on St. Mary’s lawn;Registration for St. Mary’s Pre School
  • A Resolution approving a Film Permit to Lunar Mining LLC.  – Filming to take place at the Tuxedo Motel in Southfields.  The permit covers a scene where a car comes off Route 17 and drives up to the motel.  The permit runs from 5/31 to 6/2 with filming actually taking place on 6/1

Vouchers were approved and the meeting was adjourned.

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Town Board Meeting May 14, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 7 pm.  All members were present.

 Public Hearing – to Discuss Reducing the Planning Board from 7 Members to 5:
Supervisor Rost opened the hearing by explaining that historically the Planning Board had consisted of 5 members, but that number was increased to 7 when it looked like the casino was going to be built.  Being that the casino project did not move forward, the Supervisor, feels that the Planning Board would be able to operate more efficiently with 5 members and 2 alternates as opposed to 7 full time members. 
Councilmember Lindsay stated that she had a “procedural question.” Referencing the official notice for the public hearing, she noted that said that the hearing was being held “by order of the Town Board, however she had not been consulted.  The Board had neither discussed this issue in public nor voted in favor of a public hearing.  She further stated that she had called the Committee on Open Government in Albany and spoken with the Executive Director who concurred that using the language  “by order of the Town Board,” implied that the Board had taken an action.  She reiterated that the Board had not taken any action in public.  
Supervisor Rost responded that the purpose of the hearing was for the Board to hear what residents had to say about the idea of reducing the Board from seven members back down to five.
Councilmember Lindsay then suggested that three members of the Board had made the decision to hold the hearing, but she had not had any part of that decision. 
Councilmember Reardon responded that Councilmember Lindsay had no way of knowing whether any of the other Board members had been discussing the hearing privately.
Councilmember Lindsay then wanted to know who had decided to hold the public hearing?
Supervisor Rost replied that it had been his decision. 
Town Attorney Howard Protter agreed that no formal action had been taken to call the public hearing.  He subsequently proposed that the Board take comments from the members of the public who had come to speak.  He further commented that this would not be a substitute for the hearing that would be required if the Board intended to vote on a local law reducing the number of members of the Planning Board. Additionally, he said the Board would need to pass a formal resolution to hold a public hearing on this subject.  After listening to comments, he advised that they should not close the hearing but hold it open until the next Town Board meeting. At that point, they would be ready to vote on a local law if that is what they decide to do.
Councilmember Lindsay responded that a couple of meetings ago the Board had held a hearing for the community block grants and although it was properly noticed, because it had not been discussed publicly, when people showed up, they were frustrated because they felt they had not been given enough information in order to form an opinion.  When that happened, she said, she had promised people that in the interest of transparency, something like this would not happen again and she felt it had just happened again. 
Councilmember Reardon suggested that they allow the residents who had come prepared to make statements to speak.
Councilmember Lindsay replied that she had never suggested that the people shouldn’t be allowed to speak but she felt the Board had not had a chance to discuss the proposal. 
Councilperson Reardon countered that the documents with the proposed public hearing had been in the hands of the Board members for a number of days and she felt that Councilmember Lindsay had ample time to have brought this up with the Board instead of waiting until the meeting and “airing dirty laundry in public.”  Councilmember Lindsay replied that they needed to have transparency.  “Your version of transparency is that every time there’s a mistake, everybody needs to know about it,” she countered. She expressed concern  that what was getting out into the public was Councilmember Lindsay’s version of what was happening which was that the Board was not following the rules or giving people the ability to speak.  This is not correct and what is happening is not fair. 
From the audience,  Nancy Hays  asked the Supevisior to put an end to the “haranguing” that  was going on between Councilmembers Lindsay and Reardon.
Supervisor Rost responded by, addressing Councilmember Lindsay and stating “I sent this information out a week ago.  If you had an issue with it, I wish you would have spoken up then.”
Councilmember Mcmillen stated that he had come to the meeting with an open mind and very much wanted to hear what the public had to say before making up his mind.  He felt that the Board had discussed this concept before. 
“Not in public,” countered Councilmember Lindsay
Councilmember English then remarked that he wanted to hear everyone’s opinions and he hoped they would want to hear his thoughts as well. 
Several audience members spoke up and said they didn’t understand why this concept was being proposed in the first place.  The Supervisor reiterated the history of the planning Board and his reason for proposing the reduction.
Councilmember Mcmillen commented that he was one of the people who had voted to expand the planning Board to seven, however being familiar with the work load presently before the them he believes that they do not need seven members.  He added that they Board had recently agreed to add two alternates who will be compensated but will only vote when one of the regular board members is not able to be present.  In his view, this is enough.  Under the proposed plan, there will be seven people  present at meetings, participating in discussions and formulating opinions. But when votes are taken, there will only be 5.  He believes the present Board is strong and he considers this to be efficiency in government and feels it makes sense. 
Councilmember Lindsay suggested that since there is currently a strong applicant pool, the Board should choose two and add them to the Planning Board properly rather than to make them alternates..  When asked why, she replied giving the history of how many members had been on the board recently and how they got there.  She asserted that the previous board had felt that seven people were needed in order to mange the Tuxedo Farms project.  She wondered why had that changed?
Councilmember Mcmillen responded that he had done some research and the Town of Newburgh’s Planning Board only has 5 members and they have a lot more business before them than Tuxedo does.  The Town of New Windsor also has a five-member planning board.  He  reiterated that he  doesn’t see any need for more than five members.
Again Councilmember Lindsay suggested that since there were so many qualified people applying for the Board, the Town should take advantage of their expertise. 
Councilmember Reardon replied that having two additional members could sometimes add expense for applicants when it came to reproducing their materials and also could make it more difficult for projects to get through the Board.  She feels that putting new people on as alternates and letting them have some time to acquaint themselves with the Board and its processes would be a good thing.  That way, since terms on the Board are staggered, when a term is up and there is a need for a new member, there will be two people who have been alternates and are familiar with the business of the board and the projects before them.  She also feels that having seven members of a board allows for some complacency among board members who might feel it wasn’t as necessary for them to attend every meeting as there were plenty of other people to do it.  Additionally, she has reviewed the minutes of the last several Planning Board meetings and reports that there “isn’t a lot going on in Town” so she doesn’t feel that they need seven members. 
Councilmember English asked what would be the role of the Architectural Review Board moving forward.  He wondered if that was a group that would continue to work with the Planning Board? 
Supervisor Rost replied that they could either leave the Architectural Review Board as it was or they could move that review into the Planning Board but that this would be a separate discussion.
Councilmember English commented that if the Board members were thinking of getting rid of the ARB, then that should be part of this discussion.  He added that he was concerned about the expertise and the amount of eyes that would look at projects.  He then read from the Planning Board’s website, stating that “the mission of the Planning Board is to maintain, and when possible, improve the quality of life in our community, governing issues such as growth, transportation, environmental protection, agriculture, historical preservation and forest conservation.  The Planning Board is largely responsible for setting land use throughout the Town.”  He remarked that this required a lot of expertise and thus he felt Michele’s desire to consider the applicants who have recently applied is something they need to consider.  He recalled that when Town Attorney Protter was reading about the ARB, he mentioned that there should be two architects on the Board and that hopefully the Chairman would be one.  Councilmember English searched the Town Code but couldn’t find anything along those lines about the Planning Board.  While he was glad to hear that most of Tuxedo Farms’ approval were already on paper, he feels that things are changing and there are still sites, including the Ren. Faire property that could have potential development. He believes that increased expertise is important and also the idea of what the ARB will do or be is a connected notion.
Councilmember Lindsay suggested that the Board should hold the interviews that they already had scheduled for the following night and if they found applicants who had enough expertise to go right on the Board, they should let them go right on the Board rather than to make them alternates.  She feels that they should keep the possibility of two alternates for a time in the future where they might not have seven qualified people. 
Councilmember Mcmillen stated that it was his understanding that the alternate seat was the pathway to a permanent appointment and that’s where future board members would “go to school.”  Speaking as someone who has served on the Planning Board, he said that he had found there to be a steep learning curve regardless of level of expertise. 
Councilmember Lindsay then stated that she would like to know what was happening with Tuxedo Farms.  She recognized that there had recently been a Planning Board meeting but she had been unable to go.  She has requested the minutes but hasn’t gotten them and so she doesn’t know what’s happening there.  She knows they asked for another extension and a clearing and grading permit but doesn’t know if they got it or not.  She feels that these are things they need to consider when discussing what to do about the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board.   
Councilmember English further commented that upon reflection, he was worried about the concept of alternates moving up to permanent seats.  This notion seems very vague to him in terms of what that mechanism actually is.  Also, he feels that the terms for each board seat in Town should be clearly delineated on the Town’s website and it should also be clear when the appointments would be made and when people should apply for any vacancies that would be coming up.  He also suggested that there should a clear mechanism to advertise for open positions.  He feels it should be made clear for any termed position that if people wanted to continue once their term was up, they would have to re-interview for the seats just like Councilmembers have to rerun for their seats every four years. 
Councilmember Mcmillen agreed commenting that these thoughts had been discussed by the Board in the past.
Councilmember English wondered whether these discussions had been casual or official? He added that the Board talked casually about a lot of things.
Councilmember Mcmillen replied “so it has to be either casually or official?” and Councilmember English said yes. 
Councilman Mcmillen suggested that they were getting away from what they needed to discuss.  He asked the Supervisor if he had anything to add.
Supervisor Rost responded that he would like to hear what the public had to say.
Councilmember Lindsay interjected that she didn’t understand about the alternates because she thought that they had agreed that when a term was up, they would interview and the next thing she knew, two members of the Planning Board had been re-appointed with no interviews held. 
Councilmember Mcmillan replied that Councilmembers Lindsay and English seemed to be the only ones who hadn’t interviewed those people.  He personally had interviewed them and felt they should be re-appointed.  
Councilmember Lindsay expressed confusion about how the pathway from alternate to Board member would work.  If someone was an appointed alternate and then the board member whose term was expiring also wanted to continue, what would happen?
Supervisor Rost commented that he would place a lot of importance on comments from the Board Chairman as he thought their opinion should be considered.
Councilmember Lindsay then reiterated that she felt it was very important to take into consideration what could be happening with the Architectural Review Board when deciding how many members to have on the Planning Board.

The hearing was then opened for public comment.

Mark Paige asked for clarification of how many members were currently allowed and how many are actually on the Board. 
He was told that the law  allows for seven members, but there are currently only five sitting members.
When he asked why, it was explained that one member had resigned and one had not been reappointed. 
Next Mr. Paige wanted to know if the proposed alternate members could vote. 
The answer was they only vote if a member was not present. 
Jim Hays said he had serious concerns about fully compensating the alternates but not tasking them with the responsibility to show up at the meetings and to vote.  He added that if there was a problem with attendance, it would be easy to add a rule which states that if a member misses X number of meetings, then he/she was off the Board.  Additionally, he suggested that although Tuxedo Farms is not presently under construction in the near future it might be. There have been changes made to the Special Permit which give more authority to the Planning Board for decisions than they originally had.  Additionally, he said that while he had not attended every Planning Board meeting, he had been to a few and it was his experience that many of the current members were very quiet.  There was nothing near the “healthy discussion” that he had just witnessed from the Town Board.  Thus he considers seven members on the Board to be a good thing and he is also concerned about the potential elimination of the Architectural Review Board.  Both Boards are meant to be checks on development in Town.  In his opinion, there have already been changes made to the development that cheapen it and that is something that he feels should not continue.  
Suzanne Williams said she wanted it put on the record that she agrees with every single thing that Jim Hays said.
Nan Klein stated that she doesn’t see any benefit to the Town by adding alternates to the Planning Board.  In her opinion, if the people who are appointed had the proper credentials to begin with, there wouldn’t be a need for a training period…they could just jump right in. 
Ed Brennan remarked that he liked the idea of alternates and thought they should be made a permanent addition to the Board. 
Andy Berish said that with everything that is going on in Tuxedo such as Tuxedo Farms and Michael Bruno’s projects, he felt it was important to have more brains on the board than to limit the amount of members. 
Nancy Hays commented that she had attended a lot of Planning Board meetings and, aside from Chairman Mike Reardon, no one ever had anything to say – a fact she finds shocking. She wondered if the Planning Board has term limits and if so, when the present members’ terms are up. 
Councilmember Mcmillen responded that when the Board was working on reorganization this year, they were made aware that the Planning Board had five year terms, with the terms of the members being staggered.  There did not seem to be a procedure in place for advertising open positions.  He feels that there needs to be discussions among the Board covering these procedures, which should include interviewing the present members.  At the end of the process, it might be that the code will be changed.
Claudia Bakhtiary said that there had been discussions about the make up of the Planning Board because she had been present to hear them, but it seemed to her that there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered on the subject.  She felt that perhaps the Board should wait to make any changes until the questions have been answered.
Supervisor Rost replied that there was no plan to take action on the proposed change tonight, he simply wanted to hear how the public felt about it. 
Dan Castricone stated that historically the Planning Board had consisted of five members and when Tuxedo Reserve heated up and the casino was proposing to build in Town, it was expanded to seven members.   He commented that there are approximately 3000 people in Town and there exists the Town Board, the Planning Board, the Architectural Review Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Ambulance Corps, the Little League, the Fire Department and more—all of which need people to serve and there is not an unlimited pool of talent to pick from!  He remembers that when he was on the Town Board, they had a very hard time finding people to fill all the positions.  He added that if they put the right people on the Board, then he thinks five is better than seven. 
Kimberly Breiland wondered how long the two vacant seats had been open?
Supervisor Rost responded that this was a public hearing and not a time for questions.  He thanked everyone for their comments and said the hearing would remain open until the Board’s next meeting in two weeks. 

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Andy Berish wondered why the Town was selling the American Legion Hall and what would happen to the Veterans who used the building.
He was told that the new owner had agreed to continue to allow the veterans as well as the Board of Fire Commissioners to use the building.  It was revealed that Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum is the new owner.

Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost reported that he has been working on the Highway workers contract and is making good progress with it.
The new owner of the Take A Break property is just waiting for one more approval from the ARB before moving forward with renovations.  Dale Mottola, ARB Chair commented that they had granted the approval  and  the applicant had been notified that today.  The Supervisor replied that this was good because now Mr. Germano will be able to close on the property.
The Town is continuing to work with Michael Bruno on his plans for his property in Town. 
The Supervisor attended the opening event for Liz Manko’s yoga studio and reported it was a great event with good attendance. 
Progress continues to be made at the Highway Garage with the dirt that is stored there and soon work will begin on the stumps. 
Councilmember Mcmillen announced that the Town is now fully subscribed to Nixle for emergency alerts.  Details can be found on the Town Website.  If you want to subscribe, simply text the work Tuxedo to 888777.

 

Agenda Items:
The following items were approved unanimously:

  • a Resolution to grant Special Use and Special Sign Permits for the Memorial Day Community Picnic at the Library
  • a Resolution approving form of Petition for the Proposition to Increase the Town Board Budgetary Allocation for the Tuxedo Park Library
  • a Resolution authorizing the sale of the American Legion Hall
  • a Resolution  to convey Fishing Easement certified by the Town Clerk of the Town of Tuxedo – this is a follow up on the previously approved easement agreement for the new bridge over the Ramapo going into the East Village

New Business:
Greg Sovak from the Gulf Station appeared regarding the ice cream truck parked at the station.  He said he had approached “someone in Town Hall” a year ago about what permits would be needed to sell ice cream there.  He was told none were needed and then received a letter from the Town saying his business wasn’t allowed.  Meanwhile, he has thousands of dollars invested in ice cream and he would like to be able to stay open while they sort out what to do about the problem. 
Town Attorney Howard Protter said that the Town Board didn’t have the authority to make that decision; it will have to go before the Planning Board.  After quite a bit of discussion, the Town Board granted them a waiver from the building moratorium and Mr. Sovak will appear at the next Planning Board meeting in order to sort out the situation.

Public Comments:
Mike Reardon said he had come to a lot of Town Board meetings recently and it seemed to him that he always heard a lot of negative talk from people about Tuxedo Farms.  He added that personally, he thinks the Farms is going to be a great project. He thinks it’s time that people started paying attention to what is happening to the south of Town. The Town of Ramapo has just approved a housing development (Ramapo Woodmont Hills) with 16 three-story buildings containing 384 housing units on the property just south of Auntie El’s (and encompassing Auntie El’s which has sold their property to them).  At the same time, the Village of Sloatsburg has applied for a “road diet” which will narrow the roads coming in and going out of Town.  Before long, Mr. Reardon believes, we will a not be able to get in or out of Town at certain times of days.  There’s not much to be done about the development which has been given all their approvals. They have already started clearing the land.  But, he urged the Town Board and everyone else to do whatever they can to fight the road diet. 

Vouchers were signed and the meeting was adjourned into Executive Session for advice from Counsel.

 

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Town Of Tuxedo - Notice Of Public Hearing

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that, pursuant to section 272-a of the Town Law of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Tuxedo will hold a Public Hearing at Town Hall, 1 Temple Road, Tuxedo, New York, on May 14, 2018, at 7 p.m. for the following purpose:  to solicit public comments on the proposed reduction of the Planning Board Members from a seven (7) person Board to a five (5) person board.
         All interested persons will have an opportunity to be heard at this hearing

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Town Board Meeting April 23, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember Reardon attended via phone and Councilmember Mcmillen was absent. 

Public Hearing on Community Block Grant Application:
It is a requirement of the application process for an Orange County Community Block grant that the Town hold a public hearing to allow for public input.  These grants, distributed by the County, have Federal money and are available for projects that benefit senior citizens, low income residents or disabled residents.  Engineer Al Fusco has been working on the application.  According to Councilmember Lindsay, it has been decided that the Town will apply for projects having to do with ADA accessibility. Of first importance is fixing the back door and ramp which lead to the Community Room on the Second Floor of Town Hall.  This room is used routinely by the Silver Dollars and elections are held here as well.  Additionally, making an ADA accessible bathroom on the second floor of Town Hall as well as improving the ADA entrance to the Court are two projects which are also being considered
Claudia Bakhtiary commented that because no agenda had been circulated for this meeting, she didn’t see how the Board could expect anyone could be there to comment on the application.
Councilmember Lindsay stated that it had been mentioned at the last Town Board meeting, but she agreed there could have been more public notice.  She was told that the Town Clerk was away at a training class and that’s why the agenda had not been sent out.  The hearing was the only item on the agenda and the deadline for filing the grant is Friday April 27, so unfortunately it couldn’t wait until the next meeting. 
Councilmember English wondered if during the grant application process  people from the County would actually come and visit the site of the project.  The answer was yes. 
The public hearing was closed and the Board unanimously passed a resolution to apply for the grant. 

Public Comments:
Claudia Bakhtiary wondered if there was any news about the road in front of Dottie Audrey’s.
She was told that the State Department Of Transportation had required a traffic study to be done.  Police Chief Abbott did the study and the results were sent to  the DOT. It has been determined that there is enough room to put in a turning lane at that location.  All that will be required is restriping of the road. Now the Town is  waiting for the work to be done.

Since neither Councilmembers Lindsay nor English had reviewed the vouchers, those were tabled until the next meeting and the meeting was adjourned. 

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Town Board Meeting April 9, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, April 9, 2018. All Members were present.

Supervisor Rost opened the meeting at 7:20 after Executive Session. He opened the
Public Hearing concerning Abolishing Elected Position of Tax Collector/Receiver of Taxes and transferring the duties to the Town Clerk.  Andy Berish questioned the purpose of the change. Supervisor Rost explained that the previous collector, Greg Stevens, had retired and Brian Sullivan filled the role for the current tax year. Other towns do not have elected tax collectors and Tuxedo plans to increase staffing in the Town Clerk office and possibly reduce costs.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost asked Highway Superintendent Rob Dollbaum to give an update on the preparations for the Ramapo River Bridge Replacement project.
Councilmember Lindsay asked Chief Abbott if the traffic study was completed. The Chief said yes and now the Town can ask the Department of Transportation to look at safety options for Route 17 near Duck Cedar Plaza. The Board needs to schedule a Public Hearing for April 23 before submitting an application for a Community Development Block grant on April 27 for renovating the ADA ramp and access to the upstairs door at Town Hall. Councilmember McMillan gave an update on the emergency alert system that will soon be operational with the help of the police department. Alerts will be sent by phone, text or email. Updates to the website are nearly complete.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Ed Brennan asked the purpose of Item #11 to waive training requirements for Planning, Zoning and Architectural Review Boards. He wondered why the Board would not want the Boards to go for training. Supervisor Rost and Councilmember Reardon explained that the appointed Board Chairs and Town Board were remiss in enforcing the required training. Current Planning and Zoning Board members must complete training within 60 days. Going forward the appointed Boards will need to fulfill the requirement of training each year.
Bahar Eretec said she wanted to get involved with serving on Boards and asked how the public knows when there is an opening. Supervisor Rost explained that each year the term of one person on each board expires. Councilman McMillan said the info can be found on the Home page of the Town’s website.

Agenda Items:
The Following resolutions were approved unanimously:

  • Resolution to approve a film permit
  • Resolution for a special permit for Chai Lifeline for fundraising cycling event
  • Resolution permitting Orange County to access rights to the Town Highway Right-of-Way and for ownership of the East Village Bridge over the Ramapo River
  • Resolution for real property acquisitions for the East Village Road for the bridge replacement project
  • Resolution appointing Rick Golden Esq as the Planning Board Attorney
  • Resolution appointing Michele Lindsay as Economic Development Coordinator
  • Resolution to change Town Law to eliminate the Receiver of Taxes position and incorporating it with the duties of the Town Clerk’s Office.
  • Resolution to waive training requirements for the Planning, Zoning and Architectural Review Boards with the provision that training is completed within 60 days.

The following resolutions were passed by Supervisor Rost, Councilmembers McMillan and Reardon with Councilmembers Lindsay and English abstaining:

  • Resolution to appoint Darrin Maynard to the Planning Board
  • Resolution to appoint Tom Darling to Zoning Board of Appeals

Councilmember Lindsay expressed appreciation for the service of all appointed Board members. She objected to the vote because the Town Board had agreed to follow Town policy which deals with Board appointments. That policy requires the Town to advertise the vacant positions. As a result of the ad several applications have been received. The Board is in the process of setting up interviews with incumbent members and new applicants. She suggested that the vote was “putting the cart before the horse” and believes the Board should postpone the vote until after interviews have been held. Councilmember English expressed his respect and appreciation for the service of appointed Board members. He emphasized that the Town Board had agreed to clarify which positions were vacant and follow the Town’s policy in filling those positions and had also agreed to fix the problems that have been uncovered. The Town Board still does not know which positions are vacant on each Board. Both Councilmembers Lindsay and English reiterated their commitment to following Town policy over the objections of the Planning Board Chair Mike Reardon.

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Town of Tuxedo Supervisor Update

Hello Tuxedo Residents,

As we close out the 1st quarter of 2018 I would like to take this opportunity to recap 2017 and give you an idea of what we have to look forward to for the remainder of the year.

The year-end audit is not yet complete for 2017 but it appears as if we have an additional $700,000 in our fund balance.  This will be the second straight year we were able to put $700,000 against our deficit fund balance.  We are working  hard on the B fund as it continues to have a negative balance.  In two years, the Town board and department heads have cut costs and spending, allowing the Town to now have a positive $1.5M combined fund balance.  Thank you Chief Abbott and Highway Superintendent Dollbaum for controlling cost while still providing a valuable service.

I also would like to recognize the efforts of all of our board members over the past 4 years.  The Town Board has had nine new members on its five member board, the planning board has had four new members on its five member board, and the architectural review board has had three new members on its five member board.  These individuals give their time and talent to support our current and future plans.  We thank you for your commitment and engagement.

Driving south on Rt 17 into Town, I am excited to see the growth and development. The Duck Cedar Plaza is full of cars and Dottie Audrey’s is receiving recognition throughout  the Hudson Valley.  When you enter the Hamlet, Dan Castricone has opened a business and there is an application before the Planning Board for an ice cream parlor in the same building.  Michael Bruno is working on the former IGA to open a market, tavern and antique store.  Take a Break is going to reopen as a wood fired pizza , pasta, panini and gourmet coffee shop.  The Hamlet LDC has received and approved several grant applications to assist businesses with their growth and development.  We are all looking forward to welcoming and supporting these ventures.

Great things are happening in the Town of Tuxedo!

Mike Rost

Tuxedo Town Supervisor

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Agenda For Town Board Meeting April 9, 2018

Click here to view a copy of this agenda

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Town Board Meeting March 26, 2018

The Town Board met on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  Councilmember English was absent.

Town Supervisor/Town Board Update:
Supervisor Rost opened the meeting by reporting that he and Councilmember Lindsay had attended a meeting in Sloatsburg about their proposed road diet.  This project is scheduled for 2019 and, when completed, will double average commute time through the corridor.  Currently, roughly 2,400 cars travel through Sloatsburg twice a day on a daily basis but once Tuxedo Farms is built, this number will increase.  The road diet is meant to “calm” or slow down the traffic going through downtown Sloatsburg.  The plan calls for the road to be reduced to 3 lanes (one northbound, one southbound and one turning) both South of Sloatsburg and between Sloatsburg and Tuxedo. 
Additionally, the Supervisor announced that after 3 years, the Town has finally signed an agreement with the Police Department (PBA). Next up will be the Highwa