Meeting Schedules

Town Board Minutes

A Regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt was conducted on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 in the Vincent F. Nyberg Meeting Room of the Cortlandt Town Hall located at One Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, NY (10567) with the following elected officials and appointed staff in attendance:

LINDA D. PUGLISI Supervisor 
JOSEPH D. CERRETO Councilman
FRANCIS X. FARRELL Councilman
ANN LINDAU Councilman
JOHN E. SLOAN Councilman


Also present:
JO-ANN DYCKMAN Town Clerk
THOMAS WOOD, ESQ. Town Attorney
GLENN CESTARO Comptroller
MARY BREINING Receiver of Taxes
EDWARD VERGANO Director, DOTS
JEFF TKACS Co-Director, DES
KATHLEEN BURLESON DES, Recreation
JOHN LIPPERT DES, Highway
PETER McMILLAN Purchasing Director
CLAUDIA VAHEY Human Res. Director
CATHERINE M. HOFFMAN Deputy Town Clerk

 

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MEETING CALLED to ORDER
Supervisor Puglisi called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

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PLEDGE to the FLAG
Brownie Troop #1265, second grade students at the F. G. Lindsey Elementary School in Montrose, led all in attendance in a Pledge to the Flag.

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SUPERVISOR'S REPORTS on PROJECTS and ISSUES
Councilmember Farrell joined the Supervisor at the podium to present the Employee of the Quarter award. Supervisor Puglisi explained that staff members review the applications for this award and this quarter's recipient is Joe Robertine. Joe has been an employee of the Town for the past ten years, beginning as a laborer in the Sanitation Division of DES. He is currently the caretaker of Town Hall.

Joe was awarded a gift certificate to the Premier Athletic Club.

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Twenty-five years ago Mr. Ray Reber coordinated, organized and was the impetus for starting a Cortlandt Youth Soccer Club. He remains in this club today and Supervisor Puglisi awarded him for his efforts toward creating the Cortlandt Youth Soccer Club.

Supervisor Puglisi presented Mr. Reber with a proclamation recognizing his twenty-five years of volunteerism and promotion of the sport of soccer in Cortlandt.

* * 

Councilman Joe Cerreto summarized the Memorial Day celebration, saying it was a very successful event and achieved the committee's goal of getting our youth involved. Fremont Reif, Chairman of the Veterans' Council, introduced five students from George Washington School who read poems they had composed showing their patriotism and what Memorial Day means to them.

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Supervisor Puglisi introduced Kathleen Burleson, Deputy Director of Business Administration for DES, who recently won a very prestigious award in a Westchester County recreation organization. She was presented with a Certificate of Award and a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Town of Cortlandt thanking her for her fifteen years with the Town of Cortlandt, thirty years overall in the field of recreation. Kathleen is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist and Supervisor Puglisi listed her many accomplishments.

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Supervisor Puglisi congratulated Steven Kessler, Chairman of the Planning Board, who recently received the Westchester Planning Federation Association award. She said Councilman Farrell has been a proponent of airing the Planning Board meetings on the Town's public access television channel and she has learned that many of Planning Board members feel the same way. This service will begin in July, 2002.

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ROLL CALL 
On a roll call attendance administered by Town Clerk Jo-Ann Dyckman at 7:58 p.m., all Town Board members indicated their presence.

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TOWN BOARD REPORTS 
Councilwoman Ann Lindau wished everyone a happy July 4th and summer and congratulated all who had won awards.

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Councilman John Sloan congratulated Joe Robertine and Kathleen Burleson, saying that Cortlandt has many fine employees.

He also congratulated Glenn Cestaro saying an audit conducted by New York State was recently concluded in only eight days compared to weeks and months which it could often take. The auditor was quite impressed by the operation of this department.

On June 28th and 29th there will be an event at Walter Panas High School called a Relay for Life, a teen event conducted to raise funds in the fight against cancer. There will be entertainment and food available.

Councilman Sloan reported on attending an award ceremony a week ago at W. Panas High School wherein each the principal announced which college or university each student receiving an award would be attending in the fall. When Daniel Gonsalvez got up it was announced that he is attending U. S. M. A. at West Point and the crowd broke into strong, sustained, passionate applause broke out for well over a minute.

* * 

Councilman Frank Farrell said it was a pleasure to recognize the work K. Burleson does for the Town with the Recreation Department. It's a tremendous program requiring a lot of managerial skills.

He said he is pleased that Planning Board meetings will now be televised and feels it will be interesting and enlightening for the viewers.

On Friday, June 14th at 4:30 p.m. in the courtyard of Town Hall there will be a memorial dedicated to commemorate the family members of Mr.Hyman Mendelowitz. He had asked for this small token in exchange of a piece of property in Verplanck he had deeded to the Town on which the pavilion was erected.

On Wednesday, June 19th at 10:30 a.m. there will be a reception at the Muriel H. Morabito Community Center, a reception to dedicate a mural that's been created by the artist Emily Phillips, and members of the Town's senior citizens' clubs.

On Saturday, June 29th at 11:00 a.m. the Marie Pritchard Pavilion will be dedicated. The Councilman said he feels this is one of the most beautiful areas in Cortlandt.

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Supervisor Puglisi added to Councilman Farrell's list, saying there will be a ceremony on June 21st at 1:00 p.m. honoring late friends, Joan Welch, Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor for over 25 years and Jim Irish, Town Engineer for over 25 years.

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Councilmember Joseph Cerreto said he joins in the accolades for Kathleen Burleson and to Joe Robertine who dos a great job.

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APPROVAL of the MINUTES
At 8:05 p.m., Councilmember Sloan moved that the minutes of the May 14, 2002 Regular meeting be approved as submitted by Town Clerk Jo-Ann Dyckman. The motion was given a second by Councilmember Cerreto. All voted AYE.

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PUBLIC HEARING

Public Hearing to consider PILOT agreements for Indian Point nuclear generating facilities.

Town Clerk Jo-Ann Dyckman presented and read the Notice of Hearing as had been published in the official Town of Cortlandt newspaper.

Supervisor Puglisi called the hearing to order at 8:07 p.m. and asked Town Attorney Thomas Wood to give a brief update.

T. Wood said approximately five years ago, Con Edison filed a tax certiorari challenging the value that the Town had placed on the nuclear facility. This challenge upset the community at that time. The Town Board met that challenge, joined with the school board and were fortunate to be able to negotiate an agreement that was to cover the term of five years.

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However, very quickly after reaching that agreement with Con Edison, the Power Authority sold Indian Point #3 and it became held by the Entergy Corporation. Simultaneously, the State of New York Public Service Commission began a process to force all the utilities in New York State to divest themselves of ownership of the nuclear plants. All of this hit at once in a great fury; the Town had to very quickly adjust and begin negotiations with the new owner, Entergy. It became readily apparent to the Town that the existing assessment system of assessing value to the facility, letting it tax against that value - wasn't the right thing or the right way to work with nuclear facilities.

To that end, during 2001 the Town prepared and supported, along with many other communities in the State affected by it, special legislation that was introduced in our State legislature. The two bills made it through both houses and were signed into law by the Governor in 2001. That brings us to basically where we are this evening. The special legislation gave the Town Board and school board and all the other tax entities the right to consider an alternative to the traditional method of taxation. That is, to enter into a contractual agreement with the owner of the nuclear facility that would be for a term of years determined by the board. That would then provide for Payments of money each year In Lieu Of real property Taxes, thus a PILOT agreement.

Prior to this time it was not available for use in these situations and once this tool was authorized by the State legislature an agreement was reached with the owners of the Entergy plants that provides for a steady stream of revenue to the Town and any other affected entities from now until the end of the current licenses on the facilities, in the year 2114.

It provides for the Town to know exactly what its cash flow will be from the site over the life of the agreement. In keeping with all of the prior presentations to the community, even way back when the Con Edison challenge was begun, it was always the goal to keep the level of taxation, the amount of revenue generated from the site, at the same level as what Con Edison would have been contributing at the end of the first five year agreement.

This agreement, if approved this evening by the Town Board, provides for the payment over the life of the agreement to the Town and the Verplanck Fire District for the total sum of Fifteen Million One Hundred and Eighty-one Thousand ($15,181,000.00) Dollars. This include certain payments which are made in the first four years of additional revenue which the Town and the Fire District will put away into a tax stabilization reserve fund. This money will then be utilized for the term of the agreement to help stabilize the tax rate in the Town. Once ownership passed to Entergy for the first four years they were in a position to pay additional revenue, over and above what Con Edison was paying, to establish this tax stabilization fund.

As I have expressed, it's been a very complicated process. We have relied, not only on our own staff, but we've utilized consultants jointly with the school district to work on this progress. We've been in touch and worked with the Office of Real Property Services in Albany - so we're fairly confident that we've reached an agreement that will ensure the community of a stable stream of revenue, prevent us from getting into the same situation we were faced with five years ago with the owner coming in to challenge the assessed value of the plant; having to litigate or negotiate that on an annual basis; and, quite possibly, if we were on the losing side or had to make an adjustment requiring us to make a significant tax refund to the property owner. A derivative benefit, also, is, as everyone in the community is aware, over the last ten years now we've been faced with segment equalization rates and various fluctuations in taxes, primarily in the Lakeland School District between the Yorktown area and the Cortlandt area.

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The Town Attorney reported he and the Assessor had been in Albany this very day before the office of the Board of Real Property Services and celebrated the tenth anniversary of appearing before them.

Once the Town Board approves this PILOT agreement the nuclear facilities' value is no longer involved in the equalization rate process and, once it's eliminated by all of the entities having these PILOT agreements, we will no longer be subject to a segment equalization rate and the shifting back and forth of the tax revenues. This is a derivative benefit which enhances the stability for the community over the next fourteen years of this agreement.

Supervisor Puglisi thanked the Town Attorney for the synopsis of five years of work which he put into this agreement. She thanked him on behalf of the Town Board and congratulated him for his dedication on this very complicated matter of the assessment of nuclear facilities.

There was no one who wished to comment further and the Public Hearing was closed on motion made by Councilmember Cerreto, seconded by Councilmember Lindau. All voted AYE.

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Councilmembers Cerreto and Councilmember Lindau moved to adopt the following legislation:

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RESOLUTION NO. 199-02 - RE: Authorize PILOT agreements for Indian Point nuclear generating facilities.

There was no discussion: All voted AYE.

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HEARING of CITIZENS, (agenda items only) 
None.

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BID REPORTS 
None.

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REPORTS
Councilmember Lindau moved that the following monthly reports be received and ordered filed, seconded by Councilmember Farrell:

May, 2002 - Purchasing Department, Town Justices, Town Clerk.

There was no discussion. All voted AYE.

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OLD BUSINESS 
Councilmembers Farrell and Sloan moved that the following items be received and ordered filed:

Report from the Code Enforcement and Planning Divisions of DOTS regarding extending notification of adjacent property owners with respect to the issuance of building permits. AMENDED to also receive and file a report from the CAC with respect to same.

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Letter from the Supervisor to the City of Peekskill pertaining to roadway between Chapel Hill Estates and Woods III.

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Approved variance from Westchester County allowing for use of water in street sweeping operations.

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Report from DES regarding request for stop sign at Lancaster and Hunt Avenues. Request denied.

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Preliminary scoping statement for the proposed Indian Point peaking facility and supplemental responses to comments from TRC Environmental Corporation to the New York State Board of Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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NEW BUSINESS

Correspondence: 
Councilmembers Sloan and Cerreto moved that the following letters be received and ordered filed:

Letter dated May 9, 2002 from the County Executive regarding the County budget and the Property Tax Relief Act. Refer, also, to the Comptroller.

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Letter from Alice Bailey with respect to rent and safety issues at 3489 Lexington Avenue. Refer to New York State and Westchester County officials.

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Memo from the Town Attorney regarding track and field lighting request from Hendrick Hudson School District.

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Correspondence:
Letter from Bridgette Bacon Orlando with offering to sell property located on Furnace Dock Road to the Town.

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Letter dated May 15, 2002 from Richard and Dagmar Mickelsen with respect to Tommy Thurber Park, a storm drain located therein and their forsythia bush. Refer, also, to DES and DOTS.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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Resolutions: 
Councilmember Cerreto moved that the following resolutions be adopted, seconded by Councilmember Lindau:

Appoint John Palmietto the title Assistant Superintendent of Recreation/DES. (REMOVED.)

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RESOLUTION NO. 200-02 - RE: Authorize implementing a portion of the Westchester County Civil Service/DOTS study.

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RESOLUTION NO. 201-02 - RE: Appoint John Margiotta as a member of the Employee of the Quarter committee.

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RESOLUTION NO. 202-02 - RE: Appoint Christopher Borchardt as a member of the Architectural Review Council to fill a vacancy.

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RESOLUTION NO. 203-02 - RE: Authorize the Supervisor to execute a contract with respect to a software upgrade for the Receiver of Taxes.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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Councilmember Lindau moved that the following resolutions be adopted, seconded by Councilmember Farrell:

RESOLUTION NO. 204-02 - RE: Authorize an Administrative Policy to increase the time for adjacent property owners to respond to notification of certain building permits.

Discussion: Several Town Board members felt that it would be a good idea for adjacent property owners to have a longer time to be able to respond to, as an example, single family homes in their neighborhood. It used to be ten days and will now be increased to twenty. -7- June 11, 2002

RESOLUTION NO. 205-02 - RE: Authorize establishing an Administrative Policy with respect to the protection of conservation easements.

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RESOLUTION NO. 206-02 - RE: Authorize an agreement with Mohegan Volunteer Ambulance Corporation for billable ALS/Paramedic Services.

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RESOLUTION NO. 207-02 - RE: Authorize an Intermunicipal Agreement with respect to sharing of services on an emergency basis among the members of the Northern Joint Waterworks.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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Councilmember Farrell moved for adoption of the following resolutions, seconded by Councilmember Sloan:

RESOLUTION NO. 208-02 - RE: Authorize an Intermunicipal Agreement with the Lakeland School District with respect to the installation of an antenna on the Croton Park Colony water tank. Receive and file a letter from Mary Ann Harkins, Esq., representing the Colony with respect to same.

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RESOLUTION NO. 209-02 - RE: Authorize an Intermunicipal Agreement with the Hendrick Hudson School District authorizing Cortlandt Ambulance's use of the Hendrick Hudson School District's fuel supply.

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RESOLUTION NO. 210-02 - RE: Authorize the Supervisor to execute a contract for random drug and alcohol testing for Town employees.

Discussion: Supervisor Puglisi explained that the Town performs random drug and alcohol drug testing because it is mandated.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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A motion to adopt the following was made by Councilmember Sloan, seconded by Councilmember Cerreto:

RESOLUTION NO. 211-02 - RE: Authorize the Director of Purchasing to proceed with the implementation of on-site computer training for employees.

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RESOLUTION NO. 212-02 - RE: Authorize cancellation of various tax liens on certain tax exempt and State owned properties.

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RESOLUTION NO. 213-02 - RE: Authorize the Director of DOTS to award an RFP for landscaping services on the Verplanck Pedestrian Trail.

Discussion: For those persons who have not yet visited the Steamboat River Park, Supervisor Puglisi recommended that they go and view this latest portion of a project. which has been ongoing for the past ten years.

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RESOLUTION NO. 214-02 - RE: Authorize amendment to the V & T Code removing a stop sign at the intersection of Riverview Avenue and Kings Ferry Road.

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RESOLUTION NO. 215-02 - RE: Authorize amending the 2001 Paving Contract to include the Riverview Avenue/Hardie Street area along the Verplanck Pedestrian Trail.

Discussion: It is hoped that the Town will be able to get this amended 2001 paving contract under the grant. *******

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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Councilmembers Cerreto and Lindau moved to adopt the following:

RESOLUTION NO. 216-02 - RE: Authorize Director of Technical Services to solicit proposals for survey services for water main upgrades on Sherwood Road.

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Authorize Director of Technical Services to solicit proposals for survey services for drainage improvements in the area of Victoria Avenue. (REMOVED.)

Discussion: Councilman Farrell pointed out this is being removed because the Director of Technical Services has indicated that this material is already in our possession. The planning for those drainage improvements can continue with the material at hand.

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RESOLUTION NO. 217-02 - RE: Authorize Work Change Order for Charles Cook Park Pool renovations.

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RESOLUTION NO. 218-02 - RE: Amend Resolution No. 263-01 re. temporary bridge and access to Battery Place.

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RESOLUTION NO. 219-02 - RE: Authorize a Fireworks Permit to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society for a fireworks display to be held Sunday, July 21, 2002 with a rain date of July 28, 2002.

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Resolutions, (cont.) RESOLUTION NO. 220-02 - RE: Authorize closing of certain streets in Verplanck from July 18, 2002 to July 21, 2002.

Discussion: Supervisor Puglisi wished all the members of the Mt. Carmel Society a successful, safe and fun filled event to Gene Capicotto, a member of the Society who was in the audience.

* *

Amend Resolution No. 250-00 and shift four (4) units with respect to cluster authorization previously granted in exchange for parkland. Mandate two affordable units and $75,000 for recreation fund with respect to property known as Lakeland Acres. (REMOVED)

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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Councilmembers Lindau and Farrell moved that the following resolutions be adopted:

RESOLUTION NO. 221-02 - RE: Authorize $50,000 to be designated for future open space acquisition in accordance with the Town's Local Law.

Discussion: Supervisor Puglisi pointed out that we have had success in the past with reserving many acres of open space and this special fund will be for the continuation of that policy. * *

RESOLUTION NO. 222-02 - RE: Authorize release of an irrevocable offer of dedication with respect to unimproved roads in the area of Meadowsweet Road.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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ADDITIONS to the AGENDA 
Councilmembers Farrell and Sloan moved to add the following items to the agenda, to receive and order filed documents and adopt the resolutions:

Correspondence: 
Letter from Thomas Catalano with respect to vandalism in his neighborhood. Refer, also, to New York State Police and Westchester County Police.

* * * * *

Resolutions:
RESOLUTION NO. 222302 - RE: Authorize waiving Planning Board application fees for property formerly known as Stokes-Greene.

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RESOLUTION NO. 224-02 - RE: Authorize DOTS/Planning to apply for a Hudson River Estuary grant for the Annsville marsh path.

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RESOLUTION NO. 225-02 - RE: Reschedule the June 17, 2002 Town Board work session to 7:30 p.m. To be held in the Community Room of the Cortlandt Town Center.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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BUDGET TRANSFERS 
Councilmember Sloan moved that the following resolution be adopted, seconded by Councilmember Cerreto:

RESOLUTION NO. 226-02 - RE: Authorize budget transfers

Discussion: Glenn Cestaro, Comptroller, discussed the transfers, documentation for which is attached to the original resolution.

There was no additional discussion. All voted AYE.

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REPORTS from VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS
None.

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REPORTS from STANDING and SPECIAL COMMITTEES 
None.

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HEARING of CITIZENS, (second) 
None.

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ADJOURNMENT 
Councilmembers Cerreto and Lindau moved the meeting be adjourned at 8:30 p.m. All voted AYE.

Respectfully submitted,

JO-ANN DYCKMAN, 
Town Clerk