Meeting Minutes

April 2, 2013

INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF PIERMONT

BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

April 2, 2013

 

 

Present:  Mayor Christopher Sanders, Deputy Mayor Mark Blomquist, Trustee Lisa DeFeciani, Trustee John Gallucci  Jr.,  Trustee Steven Silverberg, Walter Sevastian, Esq.-Village Attorney, Stephanie Tassello-Village Clerk-Treasurer.

 

 

Mayor Sanders called the meeting to order, and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Mayor Sanders expressed disappointment from recent alleged actions and Federal Indictment of local and NYS representatives.  He applauded the present Board of Trustees, and former members of the Board in attendance, for their hard work and selfless dedication to the residents of the Village of Piermont.

 

Public Comment

 

Ray Icobelli from the Blauvelt Lions Club requested to hold the annual Apple Fest on September 29, 2013 at Flywheel Park and asked that this be considered a Village Sponsored Event.  The Blauvelt Lions Club recently donated funds for the purchase of park equipment for Kane Park.

 

Mayor Sanders thanked Ray Icobelli and the Blauvelt Lions Club for their continuous generous contributions to the Village.

 

Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the annual Lions Club Apple Fest on September 29, 2013 at the Goswick Pavilion declaring it a Village Sponsored Event.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0

 

Joan Gussow addressed the board regarding a street light in front of her home that has been out for the past 5 months, she requested assistance for the repairs.

 

DPW Superintendent Temple responded he will contact Orange & Rockland Utilities to repair the light.

 

John McAvoy requested to hold the 5th annual Piermont PAL American Roots Festival on September 2, 2013 and requested that it be declared a Village Sponsored Event.  The event will be held at the Goswick Pavilion from 12:00pm to 6:00pm and will include amplified music.  Proceeds will go to Piermont PAL.

 

Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the 5th annual Piermont PAL American Roots Festival on September 2, 2013 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm declaring it a Village Sponsored Event, and waiving the restriction on amplified music. Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0

 

Presentation from Project Hope to offer services to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy

 

Heli Minano introduced himself and Beth McDowell both from Project Hope, part of a team in working in Rockland County.  Project Hope offers emotional support to victims of Hurricane Sandy and will also provide referrals if needed.

 

Heli Minano commented Project Hope was formed after the 9/11 tragedy to assist individuals affected by disasters.  Project Hope is funded by FEMA but the teams are employed the Mental Health Association of Westchester.  They also work with Disaster Recover Coalition in Rockland which also aids in recovery efforts.

 

Trustee DeFeciani questioned if the teams are trained for disaster relief

 

Beth McDowell responded she is a mental health counselor and the team is trained by FEMA.

 

 

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Mayor Sanders thanked Project Hope for their efforts and requested they provide advance notification to the Police Department and Village Hall their schedule of dates they will be canvassing in Piermont.

 

Discussion on Northshore Walkway-Seawall

 

Mayor Sanders commented there was extensive damage to the sea wall along the north side of the pier.  There are still questions of ownership of the Seawall.

 

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian commented he has reached out to the Piermont HOA Attorney Steve Silverstein who is researching the title and deed.  He also submitted the Northshore Walkway easement documents to FEMA on behalf of Village of Piermont.

 

Village Engineer Brian Brooker of Brooker Engineering commented he walked the entire length of the Northshore walkway after the storm. In his initial observation he noticed gaping holes underneath the surface of the walkway which compromised the surface roadway.   There is stress at the expansion joints, the concrete is bridging the gap and is not visible how big the gaps are.  He proposed exploration by drilling holes in the walkway to verify actual size of gaping holes.  The repairs to the large gaps or voids could be filled by pumping layers of concrete, which would expand and fill the holes.  The method of filling it with grout is the most cost effective way and longest lasting.  He believes it is dangerous to drive a vehicle, or walk on the road and should remain closed until repairs are done.

 

Mayor Sanders requested the Village Engineer Brian Brooker prepare a detailed report of the damages, and costs to repairs in order to proceed with moving the project forward.  At this point there is still uncertainty of ownership and responsibility for the repairs.    However the Village has a vested interest in repairing the walkway –first it being an emergency access road as second it is a cherished part of the Village for residents and tourists.  He suggested moving the project forward and going out to bid while the HOA researches the title and deed.

 

Trustee DeFeciani questioned when FEMA would make a determination on responsibility of repairs to the Northshore walkway and sea wall

 

Silva Welch commented all the Northshore walkway easement documents have been submitted to FEMA and the State office of Emergency Services legal departments for their review.   FEMA stated they will make a determination and notify the Village by Monday April 8, 2013.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. suggested the HOA should research the title and deed on the walkway.  He is also concerned with proceeding with the project due to the uncertainty of ownership of the sea wall

 

Trustee Silverberg commented he is also concerned with proceeding with the project but understands the importance to fast track the project but would like to wait until the determination of responsibility for the repairs is resolved.

 

Mayor Sanders requested for the Village Engineer to meet with DPW Superintendent Tom Temple, and Building Inspector Charles Schaub to do an extensive survey of the Northshore walkway and seawall to submit to FEMA and the State he tabled this for further information and review.

 

Public Hearing- FYE 2014 Budget

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to open the Public Hearing on the Tentative 2014 Fiscal Budget.  Trustee Silverberg seconded this motion and upon vote the Public Hearing was opened.

 

The Mayor thanked all departments for their time.  He also thanked the Clerk’s office and the Board who worked very closely with all departments.

 

The Board is proposing a budget of $5,191,534 which is a 0.57% increase this year.  The estimated revenue is $804,977 an increase of 2.89%.  The proposed Property Tax Liability is $4,386,555 an increase of 2.36%.  After the state allowable exclusions, which includes pensions and year-growth factors, it reduces the increase down to 1.82% for the tax rate

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this year.  Based on this year assessments, Homestead rate is showing a 1.58% increase, and Non-Homestead rate is showing an 8% increase.

 

Trustee DeFeciani applauded all departments for keeping the budget increase at a minimum.

 

Trustee Silverberg commented the primary increases in the budget are primarily due things they had no control over and that all departments did a great job.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. agreed with Trustee Silverberg and Trustee DeFeciani he was impressed with all the department heads keeping the budget increase at a minimum.

 

Trustee Blomquist was pleasantly surprised that the budget came in under the 2% cap; he believes if it wasn’t for the state mandates taxes may have been reduced.

 

Mayor Sanders commented due to an increase in revenue there was no need to include a fund transfer into the budget this year.  He also thanked the Board of Trustees for their hard work keeping the budget at a minimum.

 

Trustee Silverberg noted there was a conscious decision not to borrow and reduce the fund balance which affects the villages bond rating and increases borrowing at a higher interest rate

 

Public Comment;

John McAvoy questioned why there was such an increase in Non-Homestead rates

 

Mayor Sanders commented it is how the base proportions are identified.  This year the base proportions for Homestead are 20% and Non-Homestead is 80% it is applied towards the total assessed value.

 

Fred Devan commented the base proportions from Homestead to Non-Homestead changes back and forth each year.

 

Mayor Sanders added to Fred Devan’s comment stating last year Homestead had an increase of 12.94% and Non-Homestead increase was 0.46% which was minimal.

 

There were no further public comments

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to close the Public Hearing.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion and upon vote the Public Hearing was closed.

 

Adoption of 2014 Fiscal Budget

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to adopt the 2014 Fiscal Budget.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0.

 

 

Ratify Grievance Determinations and 2013 Assessments.

 

The Grievance Determinations by the Assessor/Consultant for 2013 included 18 Grievances and 19 Grievances on storm damaged properties

 

Dorothy Jacobs, residing at 869 Piermont Ave, commented she did not like the process that was used to assess the grievances nor did she like the outcome.

 

Trustee Silverberg commented he understands her frustration; however no one addressed the board on Grievance night.  Grievance night is for residents to submit their grievance and ask questions.

 

Dorothy Jacobs commented her husband did attend the grievance meeting, but did not know he was allowed to address the board.  She also questioned the process of grievance determinations and assessed values.

 

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Mayor Sanders explained in detail the process in evaluating her grievance and how the final determination was made.  He thanked Mrs. Jacobs for expressing her concerns and input.  He explained the board will take into consideration her concerns.

 

Mr. Burns residing at 201 Erie Court also expressed frustration and wanted information as to the process of the grievance determination and his final assessment.

 

Mayor Sanders explained to Mr. Burns the process in evaluating his grievance and how the final determination was made.  He thanked Mr. Burns for his input.

 

Trustee DeFeciani commented she understands it appears residents are confused about the purpose and process of grievances.  She also agreed with the Mayor the board needs to make changes to the process of grievances.

 

Mayor Sanders acknowledged residents concerns and recognized changes need to be made in the grievance process he is dedicated to implement changes for next year.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. concurred with the Mayor many things need to be addressed and changed going forward for next year.  This board would like to hear from the residents, they are the assessing board.

 

The Mayor asked the board to review and adopt the grievance determinations.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. suggested proceeding with the Agenda and table this later in the meeting in an effort to address other agenda items in a timely matter.

 

Mayor Sanders requested to table this to latter in the meeting, all board members approved.

 

At the end of the Agenda Mayor Sanders again discussed the grievance process and complemented the board of trustees for taking the time to listen to the residents’ concerns.

 

Trustee Silverberg thanked the residents that came forward to express their concerns.  He concurred with the Mayor and also thinks the board needs to implement changes to the grievance process for next year.

 

Mr. Burns thanked and complemented the board for taking the time to listen and addressing his concerns he is proud to be a part of the community

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve authorizing the Grievance Determinations.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. abstained

Trustee Silverberg abstained

 

 

Request from Michele Solomon of River Keepers to schedule river sweep clean up

The Pier.

Michele Solomon requested to schedule a river sweep clean up on the Pier in honor of Earth Day on May 11, 2013 from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.  She did review tidal charts, and she is expecting between 10 to 30 volunteers.

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve river sweep cleanup on the Pier May 11, 2013 from 2:30 to 5:30.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Continue Discussion on Pier Dockage Agreement

 

Mayor Sanders commented at the last Village Board Meeting the recommendation was to change it from an agreement to a policy.

 

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian commented he drafted a policy for the board to review which included a fee schedule of $250.00 for the first 24 hours and $350 for each additional day for emergencies only.

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Mayor Sanders suggested changing the fee amounts to $350.00 for the initial 24 hours and $700.00 for each additional day.

 

Trustee Silverberg commented he thinks the fee schedule is fine but would like to be clear this is for emergencies only.

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to adopt as amended Pier Dockage Policy to include a fee of $350.00 for the first 24 hours, and $700 each additional day.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0

 

Continue Discussion on Pier Building Agreement with Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University

 

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian reported he has been in contact with the attorney representing Lamont Doherty, and was told they are very interested in working with the Village but could not provide an immediate response or sign a new agreement by the notice of termination date on April 22, 2013 due to the extent of damage their building sustained from Hurricane Sandy.  The majority of their equipment was damaged and is currently working with FEMA but at this point does not know when they will be able to repair the equipment and the building.  He asked the board if they wanted to withdraw their notice of termination and enter into a new agreement.

 

Trustee Silverberg recommends DEFERRING ENFORCEMENT OF the notice of termination for 45 days.

 

Mayor Sanders agreed with Trustee Silverberg for an extension of 45 days, and requested Village Attorney Walter Sevastian to notify counsel for Lamont Doherty.

 

Request from the New York Cycle Club to hold Charity Bike ride Escape New York

A request was made from the New York Cycle Club Escape New York Charity Bike Ride on Saturday September 21, 2013.  Mayor Sanders advised that they do this every year and believes it is of low impact and does not see any problems with the request.

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve Escape New York Charity Bike Ride on Saturday September 21, 2013.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0.

 

Review and Discuss Parking Violation Fees

 

Chief O’Shea commented his concern with the current $10.00 dollar violation fee for the 2-hour limit, and the 15-minute zone parking violations is the individuals receiving the violations would rather pay the minimum fine and leave their vehicle parked for hours.  The merchants are not seeing enough turnover.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. suggested changing the violation fee to a minimum of $25.00 dollars.

 

Trustee Silverberg commented generally there is enough parking in the Village. People take parking spaces and are not quick to move their cars, they would just rather pay the $10.00 dollar violation.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to approve to change all minimum parking violations to $25.00 dollars.   Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion, which carried by a vote of 5-0

 

Resolution Regarding Desalination Facility proposed by United Water of New York

Trustee Silverberg recused himself from the discussion AND STEPPED AWAY  as he represents the Haverstraw Planning Board that has this application pending before it.

 

Mayor Sanders reported he received this resolution regarding the Desalination Facility proposed by United Water of New York to be built and operated in the Town of Haverstraw.  He is personally opposed to building the Desalination Plant.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he is not prepared to move forward and does not have enough information to vote on behalf of the Village Residents.

 

Trustee DeFeciani agreed with Trustee Gallucci Jr.

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Trustee Blomquist also agreed with Trustee Gallucci Jr.

 

Mayor Sanders tabled this to a future Village Board Meeting

 

Trustee Silverberg re-entered the meeting.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to approve minutes from the March 19, 2013 meeting of the Board of Trustees.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by a vote 5-0

 

Approval of Warrant

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve the Warrant in the amount of $ 45,218.98 attached to the Minutes.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.

 

Old/New Business

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian requested an executive session regarding pending litigation.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to add executive session.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Trustee DeFeciani reported the chamber of commerce would like to sponsor a sign and put it up on Route 9W, and also wanted to contribute to the planters on the street.  She also reported the Village Website is up and running.

 

Mayor Sanders requested DPW Superintendent Temple to meet with chamber of commerce to discuss layout and pricing of sign.

 

Trustee Silverberg reported the Village had partnered with scenic Hudson for a grant to study storm surge mitigation.  Once it is approved it would enable the Village to obtain additional grants.

 

Mayor Sanders reported he has received a formal request from the Piermont Rowing Club to renew their agreement which is to expire November 1, 2013.  He asked Village Attorney Walter Sevastian to draft a new agreement

 

Mayor Sanders requested to put this on the agenda for the next Village Board Meeting.

 

Department Reports

 

DPW

DPW Superintendent Temple reported the pavilion is up and running they received and installed all new kitchen equipment.  He is preparing cost estimates for repairs to Parelli Park per FEMA’s request.  The Asphalt plant is open and we will begin patch work road repairs.

 

He also reported work is scheduled to begin on April 15, 2013 for Rockland Road Bridge.

 

Mayor Sanders reported he received a copy of letter from the Village Engineer Ken DeGennaro addressed to James J. Dean Superintendent of Highways in regards to the Sparkill Creek Skating Pond Concrete Containment Wall Elevation Reduction.  He directed the Village Attorney Walter Sevastian to contact the Town of Orangetown to follow up on behalf of the Village.

 

Police Dept.

Chief O’Shea reported the live scan was installed and is operational   He has submitted for a grant for the PAL van.  He also received notification the sales tax revenue will continue.

 

Fire Department

Dan Goswick reported a new chief has been elected William Cavanaugh.  The Fire Department is preparing bid specs for a new ambulance, and a new pumper, which should be ready by the end of April.

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Mayor Sanders congratulated Chief William Cavanaugh and thanked Kevin Fagan for his dedication as Chief for the past two years.

 

Building Dept.

Building Inspector Charles Schaub reported the new owners of the Onderdonk house is beginning to landscape

 

Executive Session

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss pending litigation.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Blomquist and upon vote the Board entered Executive Session.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to exit Executive Session, Trustee DmarkeFeciani seconded and upon the vote, the motion passed and the board returned to regular session.

 

Trustee Silverberg moved to direct Village Attorney to notify the Village of Piermont’s insurance carrier to POVIDE counsel to represent the Village.   In the event of non-representation of counsel, the Village Attorney is directed to retain counsel Burke, Miele and Golden LLP, at a municipal rate of $250.00 per hour and this discussion to be placed on next Village Board meeting agenda.  In the interim the Village Attorney is authorized to submit documents for review to Burke, Miele, and Golden LLP.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote of 5-0.

 

 

Adjournment

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:46pm.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Stephanie Tassello

Clerk-Treasurer