Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Larchmont, New York, held on MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2009.
editrix: spacing is funky; keep scrolling down
PRESENT: Mayor Elizabeth Feld
Trustees Marlene Kolbert
Anne H. McAndrews
Also Present: Clerk Finn, Treasurer Brucciani
Joanna C. Feldman, Esq., representing Village Attorney’s Office
Mayor Feld called the meeting to order at 7:25 PM, and welcomed those present.
John Farris and Jim McDonald of the CAP Center/Hunger Task Force addressed the Board to outline the services they provide. Due to the economic crisis, requests for groceries from the Center have increased significantly. They currently pass out approximately 350 bags of groceries every two weeks.
Earlier this month, they held a fundraising dinner at Larchmont Avenue Church and raised a considerable amount of money for the Center. He said that $25 donations were collected to buy bags of groceries. Donations continue to be accepted by Larchmont Avenue Church on their behalf.
Other programs the Center offers include:
1. A free tutoring program for students.
2. A Madres Program to help Hispanic women adjust to life in America.
3. Youth activities such as trips to Great Adventure Amusement Park, minor league baseball games, and pre-season basketball tournament games.
Mayor Feld thanked Mr. Farris and Mr. McDonald for attending this evening’s meeting and for their work with the CAP Center/Hunger Task Force.
Anthony Catalano of Woodard & Curran next appeared to discuss three items with the Board; namely, the Tennis Court Renovation bids, the proposed field renovations at Lorenzen Park, and the Chatsworth Bridge Water Main Replacement Project.
Mayor Feld began the discussion with the proposal to renovate the fields at Lorenzen Park. She advised that the Village must declare its intention to act as Lead Agency for this project. Before that happens, she asked Mr. Catalano to introduce to the community the project design in its early stage.
Mr. Catalano explained that the proposal calls for the addition of a natural grass baseball field with a 215’ center field. Additionally, a smaller natural grass field with a 150’ center field is also planned. The
fields would have a subsurface drainage system, with water finding its way to a rain garden that would be planted there.
He noted that the parking area would be significantly improved with porous asphalt, and the parking area would be more structured and defined with the addition of more green space. Bleacher areas would be located on the eastern part of the site.
Mr. Catalano said that the necessary documents have been completed for the wetlands permit, but that no construction would occur near the wetlands. Mayor Feld added that the renovation would only be a repurposing of existing space.
Members of the audience who spoke in favor of this project were:
Jim Hanley, Fields for Kids
Eric Marks, President, Larchmont-Mamaroneck Little League
Sid Ings, President, Larchmont-Mamaroneck Soccer League
The above individuals all spoke in favor of this project. It was explained that when the scheme for improving Flint Park was first discussed, the leagues came up with the idea for a “field swap”, to make Flint Park an all-soccer location and Lorenzen Park an all-baseball location. They also hope to now have a concession area at Lorenzen Park.
Mayor Feld assured the audience that only grass fields are planned for Lorenzen Park.
Following further discussions, on motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, the following resolution was adopted, to wit:
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of the Village of Larchmont (the “Village”) has decided to improve Lorenzen Park within the Village by constructing a Little League baseball field, improving drainage, installing a dry concession stand, and enhancing the overall quality of the Park (the “Project”); and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act and implementing regulations (“SEQRA”), the Board must classify the Project as a Type I, Type II, or an Unlisted action; and
WHEREAS, SEQRA dictates that the Project is a Type I action for which a full Environmental Assessment Form (“EAF”) must be prepared; and
WHEREAS, the Village’s consultants, Woodard and Curran, retained to, among other things, design the Project and to assist the Village in receiving all necessary approvals and permits for the construction of the Project, have prepared Part 1 of the EAF, which the Board has reviewed and considers comprehensive and adequate; and
WHEREAS, within Part 1 of the EAF, numerous involved agencies have been identified; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to SEQRA the Village must undertake a coordinated review of the Project;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Larchmont that:
(1) the Project is a Type I action under SEQRA; and
(2) Part 1 of the EAF shall be submitted to all involved agencies; and
(3) the Board declares its intent to become the Lead Agency on the Project and hereby instructs the Village Clerk’s Office to send out notification to all involved and interested agencies and any other appropriate entity of the Village’s intent to act as Lead Agency on the Lorenzen Park Improvements Project.
Trustee Kolbert reminded athletes and spectators to bring reusable water bottles to both Flint Park and Lorenzen Park.
Trustee Ward extended his appreciation to Mr. Ings for being responsive to the young women who appeared before the Board earlier this year in connection with recreational soccer for students in Grades 10-12.
Mr. Catalano also announced that bids have been received for the tennis court improvements in Flint Park. He has reviewed the bid documents and recommended that the award be made to DeRosa Tennis Contractors.
He advised that once approved, a pre-construction meeting will be scheduled with the contractor. The construction is expected to be completed by July 1, 2009.
On motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to accept the bid from DeRosa Tennis Contractors in the amount of $329,455, for the Flint Park Tennis Court Improvement Project.
Trustee Kolbert noted that she will be donating a bench to be placed alongside the new tennis courts. Mayor Feld thanked Trustee Kolbert for her generosity.
With regard to the Chatsworth Avenue Bridge Water Main Repair, on motion of Trustee Ward, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to authorize Mayor Feld to execute an agreement between the Village of Larchmont and Woodard and Curran, in the amount of $63,500, for design and engineering work associated with the repair/lining of the water main at the Chatsworth Avenue Bridge.
On motion of Trustee Millstein, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, the continued public hearing on the 2009-2010 Preliminary Budget was opened.
Treasurer Brucciani explained that the budget has not changed since the last meeting, except a few minor transfers were made from one budget line to another. The total tax rate would be $290.63 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or an increase of 2.44%.
Ned Benton, 149 Beach Avenue, addressed the Board concerning the budget for the Fire Department.
Mr. Benton stated that he believes the overall Village budget imposes taxes on Larchmonters that are about 15-17% higher than they need to be due to the budget for fire services. He said that it is approximately twice as much than in the Town of Mamaroneck.
Mayor Feld thanked Mr. Benton for coming this evening. She noted that the Board is spending less money than it did last year, and the tax increase is due to lower revenues being received by the Village.
She said that, before discussions could move forward on shared services or merger of the Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck Fire Departments, it would be necessary to lay out the specific responsibilities of the career men and volunteers. The Village Board and Town Council would need to determine the services that are delivered, where areas could be changed, or where services could be shared. This is a process that will take time to study.
Trustee Millstein also noted that Fire Chiefs in southern Westchester communities have met and commissioned a study on an alternative merger proposal. Their proposal involves the merging of multiple municipalities, not just the Village of Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck. The Board will be meeting over the weekend to review the study.
Returning to general discussion on the 2009-2010 budget, Treasurer Brucciani noted that a five-year forward-looking capital plan has been added to the budget. He recommended that, if this budget is adopted, it be done subject to the Board’s review of this capital plan.
Following further discussion, on motion of Trustee Millstein, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to adopt the 2009-2010 Village of Larchmont budget, with a tax rate of $290.63 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or an increase of 2.44%, subject to the Board’s review of the capital plan included in this budget.
Treasurer Brucciani reported that bids were opened for the sale of four vehicles, and requested that the Board authorize the sale of these vehicles to the highest bidders.
On motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee Ward, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to approve the sale of a 1979 Ford Garbage Truck to North White Plains Auto, Inc., in the amount of $700.01.
On motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to approve the sale of a 1986 Ford Elgin Sweeper to North White Plains Auto, Inc., in the amount of $1001.
On motion of Trustee McAndrews, seconded by Trustee Ward, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to approve the sale of a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria to Grace Quality Used Cars, in the amount of $2,858.
On motion of Trustee McAndrews, seconded by Trustee Kolbert, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to approve the sale of a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria to Grace Quality Used Cars, in the amount of $3,858.
Treasurer Brucciani next updated the Board on the two bridges and the potting shed foundation that are in need of repair at the Reservoir. They were damaged during the 2007 nor’easter. He said that the potting shed foundation is not a problem at this time, but the bridges need to be repaired. He noted that some funding for these bridge repairs will be received from FEMA, and the remainder of the cost will be the Village’s responsibility.
Treasurer Brucciani stated that Woodard & Curran has prepared a design plan for the bridge repair work, and he would like to solicit bids for this work to be done.
Treasurer Brucciani added that it has been determined that the bridge replacement project is not subject to review under the SEQR regulations since the proposed action (replacement of 2 bridges) is classified as a Type II action, as per 6 NYCRR Part 617: State Environmental Quality Review; specifically Part 617.5 "Type II Actions", paragraph (c)(2). Paragraph (c)(2) reads: "The following actions are not subject to review under this Part: replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of a structure or
facility, in kind, on the same site, including upgrading buildings to meet building or fire codes, unless such action meets or exceeds any of the thresholds in section 617.4 of this Part". It has also been determined that the proposed project/action does not exceed the thresholds in section 617.4.
Following a brief discussion, on motion of Trustee Millstein, seconded by Trustee Ward, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to authorize Treasurer Brucciani to solicit bids for the Village of Larchmont Bridge Replacement project, which includes the in-kind replacement of one steel and concrete vehicular bridge and one wooden pedestrian bridge, both located at the Larchmont Reservoir property off of Weaver Street in the Town of Mamaroneck, New York.
Chief Poleway next addressed the Board, stating that he was seeking approval to purchase a new closed circuit television system for the parking lots at the Railroad Station, in and around Village Hall, and for Police Headquarters. He said that the current technology installed in these areas is past its prime and the system continuously breaks down.
On motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee Millstein, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, to authorize Mayor Feld to enter into an agreement with Flashback, to replace a closed circuit television system at the Railroad Station, in and around Village Hall, and at Police Headquarters, at a cost of $13,350 plus an annual maintenance cost of $7,290.
Chief Poleway also commented on the following items:
1. A luncheon was recently held for the DARE essay contest winners, sponsored by the Rotary Club. Both he and Det. Barbara Daquino attended the luncheon. He congratulated the winners and thanked the Rotary Club for sponsoring this event.
2. The Police Department is seeking voluntary compliance of the Anti-Idling Law. He noted, though, that the Police Department will begin active enforcement of this law shortly. Chief Poleway urged everyone to turn their car engines off and not to idle.
Mayor Feld announced that the Village’s Year 6 stormwater report has been drafted for submission to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). She noted that the DEC came to audit the Village’s stormwater practices in March, and the Village received a superb review.
She explained the details of the draft report, and said that it referred to the work done by the Village over the past year on matters of stormwater education and outreach, general stormwater management, and how to dispose of household chemicals, for example.
No one appeared to speak in connection with this draft report.
On motion of Trustee Ward, seconded by Trustee Kolbert, and unanimously carried, the continued public hearing to consider a local law to revise exemptions to the Site Plan Approval Law of the Village of Larchmont, was opened.
Trustee McAndrews advised that she presented the proposed change to the Planning Board for their consideration and recommendations.
The Planning Board suggested that this law stay as it is currently written for the R-5 and R-7.5 zoning districts. In making this determination, the agendas from January, 2007 to the present were reviewed. During that period, there were 52 applications and 115 agenda items that came before the Planning Board with regard to Site Plan Approval. Only 29 of those requests were for changes to residences in the R-5 and R-7.5 zones.
It may be that the wrong classification of properties is being considered for change under this statute. She has been in contact with the City of Rye to get a better understanding of their “Small Project” classification. Once she has further discussions with Rye officials to see if this classification is effective, she will return to the Board with her findings.
Therefore, on motion of Trustee Ward, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, the public hearing was adjourned to June 8, 2009 at 8:00 PM.
Trustee Ward reported on the following:
1. At the Westchester Bike Summit on April 7, 2009 in White Plains, it was announced that the County will be adding 200 miles more to their bike trail. Additionally, they will be retrofitting County buses to hold bicycles. New Rochelle has also added 1,000 new apartments which are attracting younger people. They are trying to put in new bike routes in that area as well.
2. At his last count, there were 98 bikes/scooters parking in the bicycle racks at the railroad station. The Village will be adding 32 new bike racks there shortly and will be adding more scooter racks as well.
3. On behalf of the CAP Center, he extended appreciation to the community for helping to provide gently used clothing for the “Clothes Closet”. Approximately 7,300 pieces were collected, sorted and distributed during their most recent collection.
4. At their last meeting, the Traffic Commission heard requests from the residents of Bonnett Avenue concerning pedestrian safety. The Traffic Commission is considering various alternatives to alleviate their concerns.
Trustee Kolbert reported on the following:
1. She thanked Iraci DiBuono of the Parks and Trees Committee for organizing the Arbor Day “Bark for the Park” event last week. She additionally extended appreciation Rick Vetere, Andrew Buccafusca, and Richie Berlingo of the Public Works Department for their efforts at this event as well. Longford’s Ice Cream, as well as Paper by Nature, were also thanked for their contributions to “Bark for the Park”.
2. Westchester County will be holding another E-Waste Day at the Town of Mamaroneck Yard on Maxwell Avenue on May 2, 2009, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. They will also be bringing the paper shredder on this day if residents wish to dispose of confidential or personal documents
3. Residents interested in purchasing a composter may do so at Saxon Woods on May 2. Interested parties should register at www.westchestergov.com.
4. She reminded the audience that the Colonial Greenway is open for runners and walkers and is a good place to go for solitude.
5. She encouraged homeowners to speak to their gardeners about the use of pesticides as the County is considering banning the use of these chemicals.
On motion of Trustee Kolbert, seconded by Trustee Millstein, and unanimously carried, the following resolution was adopted.
The Climate Smart Communities is a joint statewide program by four state agencies, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of State, and the New York State Department of Public Service, in partnership with local governments.
WHEREAS, the Village of Larchmont believes that climate change poses a real and increasing threat to our local and global environments and that it is primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels; and
WHEREAS, we believe that climate change may endanger our economy and livelihoods, harm our farms, orchards, forests and fisheries, spread invasive species and exotic diseases, reduce drinking water supplies, and pose health threats to our citizens; and
WHEREAS, we believe that our response to climate change provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to save money, build livable, energy-independent and secure communities, vibrant innovation economies, healthy and safe schools, and resilient infrastructures; and
WHEREAS, we believe the scale of greenhouse gas emissions reductions required for climate stabilization will require sustained and substantial efforts; and
WHEREAS, we believe that even were emissions dramatically reduced today, communities would still be required to adapt to the effects of climate change for decades to come,
IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Village of Larchmont pledges to pursue the following measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate:
Pledge to Combat Climate Change
Establish a task force of municipal officials and community members to review the issues and create a plan of action. Designate a point person who will oversee climate change initiatives and publicly report on progress. Encourage the task force to work cooperatively with neighboring communities to reinforce efforts and extend the reach of
successful practices. As an official signal of commitment and for access to technical resources, sign on to a widespread climate campaign such as:
ICLEI – Cities for Climate Protection Campaign
U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
Inventory Emissions, Set Goals, and Move to Action
Gather data, invent
ory greenhouse gas emissions, and establish baselines. Develop short- and medium-term targets to achieve long-term goals and propose a schedule to meet those objectives. Develop an explicit long-term financing strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by a specified date. Include opportunities for stakeholder and public input and include the other elements of this agenda in the action plan. Report emissions to The Climate Registry, which has developed a standardized method for emissions inventories, and use the tools provided to track and evaluate progress. Celebrate progress.
3. Decrease Energy Demand in Municipal Operations
Strive to reduce electricity use 15 percent from forecasted 2015 levels by 2015, the current New York State government goal.
A. Existing Public Facilities. Inventory current building usage and identify opportunities for conservation and efficiency retrofits. Obtain energy audits from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) or other professionals. Consider actions such as purchasing only Energy Star equipment and appliances to the extent consistent with General Municipal Law §103; improving lighting, heating, and cooling efficiency; setting thermostats for maximum energy conservation; and increasing pump efficiency in water and wastewater systems.
B. New Public Buildings. Achieve minimum U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED Silver) for all new municipal buildings.
C. Vehicle Fleet and Commuting. Improve the average fuel efficiency of Municipal fleet vehicles. Consider reducing the number of vehicles; discouraging vehicle idling; converting fleet vehicles to sustainably sourced alternative fuels; using electric vehicles where possible; and encouraging bicycling, car-pooling and public transit for employees.
4. Encourage Renewable Energy
To the extent feasible and consistent with law, supply as much of the municipality’s power needs as possible from solar, wind, and small hydro through direct generation or purchase, and evaluate benefits of investing in “green tags” or carbon offsets for that portion of municipal power coming from nonrenewable sources. Set a goal of 25 percent of public energy use from renewable sources by 2013, the current New York State goal. Work with state agencies and elected representatives to facilitate the municipality’s purchase of renewable energy consistent with General Municipal Law §103 and to authorize
the municipality to invest in “green tags” or carbon offsets consistent with Article III, §1 of the State Constitution. Consider facilitating renewable power development.
5. Realize Benefits of Recycling
Expand the “reduce, reuse and recycle” approach to waste management in Municipal operations and the whole community. Reduce the amount of solid waste generated. Consider actions such as
instituting a volume-based municipal solid waste management system, providing adequate recycling receptacles in all Municipal buildings and outdoor spaces, implementing a municipal organic waste composting program for yard and food waste, requiring duplex printing in Municipal offices.
Integrate Climate Protection into Community Planning
In any update of land use policies, building codes or community plans, include provisions to combat climate change, while also reducing sprawl, preserving and protecting open space, biodiversity, water supplies and historic buildings, and creating compact, walkable communities. Minimize new development in floodplains. Maintain or establish healthy community forests, promote best management practices and encourage tree planting, especially along waterways, to increase shading and to absorb carbon dioxide. Begin conversion of municipal grounds to sustainable landscapes.
7. Support a Green Innovation Economy
Identify opportunities to incorporate climate protection, sustainability and environmental goods and service industries, which are growing parts of the global economy, into any economic development plans, the municipality might adopt. Adopt a comprehensive green purchasing program that supports local green businesses.
8. Inform and Inspire the Public
Lead by example. Highlight municipal commitment to reducing energy use, saving tax dollars, and adapting to changing conditions. Demonstrate the benefits of energy savings, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects. This could include hosting open houses; distributing fliers; holding municipal meetings; working with local school districts, colleges, and universities to develop climate change curricula and programs; engaging faith-based communities in climate protection; and regularly communicating community goals and progress to constituents.
9. Evaluate Risks and Plan for Adaptation
Identify climate change impacts that could affect the community, including flooding, drought, and extreme temperatures. Identify areas such as water supply and sewer infrastructure that may be at risk due to sea-level rise and future changes in climate. Factor risks into long-term investments and decision-making. Execute climate change adaptation and preparedness measures through municipal government planning, development and operations, giving priority to the most vulnerable local areas.
Commit to an Evolving Process
Acknowledge that research and policy on climate protection are constantly improving and evolving. Be willing to consider new ideas and innovations and commit to adapt plans and policies as needed. Compare successes and cooperate with neighboring communities to redirect less-effective actions and amplify positive results.
Trustee McAndrews reported on the following:
1. She has been in touch with the New York Power Authority Subcommittee to work on going forward with some of the energy audit recommendations for Village Hall; i.e., window replacement. The Board will have to determine if it would be more efficient and cost effective for the Village to do this project on its own or through the NYPA program.
2. At the recent LISWIC meeting, it was announced that new stormwater regulations are being drafted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation concerning the removal of nitrogen from Long Island Sound. The cost to remove nitrogen was $10 per pound. The cost now being proposed is $100 per pound to remove it in Mamaroneck. Watersheds, outfalls and sewer sheds may possibly have to be defined; and outfalls retrofitted, for compliance with this new regulation if it is approved. The DEC will also be required to come up with a new five-year plan under these regulations.
3. Trustee McAndrews has been working with Woodard & Curran on the Palmer Avenue Streetscape plan. She hopes to be able to report more details in May.
4. She encouraged New Yorkers not to flush unused drugs. Dispose of them properly on hazardous chemical clean-up days.
5. She commented on a blog in a recent online publication concerning an interior restaurant improvement. The blog made accusations that Boards and Commissions in the Village have no standards and no reasons behind the decisions they make. She said that is not true. She noted that the Fire Department also had to recalculate the seating capacity of this restaurant, which is determined by the Fire Code of the State of New York. They should have been congratulated rather than accused in this blog.
Mayor Feld made the following announcements:
1. She extended the Board’s condolences to Richard Berlingo of the Public Works Department on the passing of his mother.
2. She reminded the audience that the Building Department’s hours will change on May 1, 2009. On Wednesdays, the department will only be open to the public between the hours of 8:30 AM and 10 AM.
3. She congratulated Sarah Comerford and Kids for World Health for raising money during a walk-a-thon yesterday for a pediatric clinic in Chad.
4. Mayor Feld reminded the audience that the Memorial Day Parade will be held on May 21, 2009, beginning at 7:00 PM.
Mayor Feld thanked the many residents who have sent in letters offering to volunteer on various Village committees. She said that she will be considering those individuals for possible appointment at a later date.
On motion of Mayor Feld, seconded by Trustee Kolbert, and unanimously carried, the following reappointments were made. She thanked everyone for offering to continue their service to the Village:
Jack Callahan – Member, Board of Architectural Review
Paul Silverman – Chair, Budget Committee
Peter Gaito – Chair, Freshwater Wetlands Commission
Peter Gaito – Chair, Planning Board
Chris Verni – Member, Planning Board
Noel Dennis – Member, Zoning Board of Appeals
David Kriss – Member, Zoning Board of Appeals
Maria Stanton – Co-Chair, Traffic Commission
On motion of Mayor Feld, seconded by Trustee McAndrews, and unanimously carried, it was:
RESOLVED, that Abstract Audited Voucher No. 15, dated April 27, 2009, in the amount of $82,870.87, per copies filed with the Clerk, be paid, subject to confirmation and approval by Mayor Feld.
On motion of Trustee McAndrews, seconded by Trustee Kolbert, and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.