Sleepy Hollow trustees were at Tuesday for their work session. Here's what happened:
SHEAC Celebrates One Year of Revitalization
The Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Council is celebrating an anniversary of sorts. After being mothballed for some time, the group restarted in late 2009.
"And I'm pleased to have a full year as chair under my belt," said SHEAC Chair David Bedell.
Bedell gave an overview of all the work that has been done to date by SHEAC.
The SHEAC's first big accomplishment came in the form of a native-plants policy which was adopted to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Ever since, native plants have been used in village projects, such as the landscaping for the recently-opened .
SHEAC also helped implement stricter regulations on leaf blowers in the village. You can find out about those .
"The leaf blower is the loudest thing this side of a garbage truck," Bedell said. "Two-stroke engines are not good for you, you really don't want to breath that in."
Bedell also noted that SHEAC had worked with Kendal on Hudson residents to help clear some of the invasive ivy and vines that had afflicted trees in the area. The group had also been on hand for the opening of a revitalized Morse Park on Beekman Avenue that contains an educational, and edible, community garden.
Looking forward, Bedell said SHEAC would be focusing on outreach and education.
"One of the greatest things we can do is coordinate," he said.
By organizing successfully, Bedell believes local residents and SHEAC can tackle some bigger projects, such as clearing invasive plants from Kingsland Point Park and tackling storm water issues and the amount of pollution that ends up in our waterways.
Towing License to be Renewed
Trustees discussed renewing the towing agreement between the village and Stiloski's Automotive Service.
The one-year agreement, recommended by Police Chief John Kapica, means that Stiloski's is the preferred towing service for impounded or illegally parked cars in the village.
"We're happy with their service," Mayor Ken Wray said. "You always come back to the vendor that has everything you need."
Storm Water Grant Project Moves Forward
Sleepy Hollow has received a $210,000 grant for storm water mapping in the village. The mapping will allow the village to identify all run-off points and catch basins in town.
These areas need to be monitored on a regular basis to ensure contaminants don't seep into waterways and to make sure they are flowing freely to prevent flooding.
SHEAC will work in conjunction with the village on the project.
Special Request from Ichabod's Landing
The village has received a request from Ichabod's Landing to amend a special permit to allow the building to host professional services.
The issue arose when an empty space became available and was being sought after by a dentist currently based in Briarcliff Manor. The dentist wants to move her practice into Ichabod's Landing, but the village needs to amend what kinds of businesses are allowed to operate at Ichabod's.
"I would like a resolution next Tuesday to approve their request," Mayor Ken Wray said.
Dozens of Questions for Trustees
After regular work-session business was concluded, trustees took questions from the audience of roughly 45 people. The following are brief roundups of the questions.
The first woman to speak scolded trustees for not using their microphones, saying it was hard to hear what they were talking about.
"You have to hold it like an ice cream cone," she said about their microphones.
- What is being done about the GM property and the Duracell mercury problem?
Mayor Wray started off by tackling the Duracell question, saying that around the Elm Street neighborhood and that cleanup will soon follow.
"There is a need for an extensive cleanup all over the neighborhood," Wray said.
He noted that, so far, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation had already spent a half million dollars on testing. He said who will pay for that testing is still being debated.
"We're shooting back and forth with Duracell's lawyers about who is responsible," Wray said.
Regarding GM, Wray said that a . He said that no permits have been applied for yet on the project, however. He did note that the project would completely change Sleepy Hollow.
"It will drastically change the makeup of this village," he said. "We're going to add more than a third of our current population with this project."
He said that future boards would have to handle the ramifications of the development, such as gentrification issues and what to do with increased tax revenues.
- What happened to path access through Birch Close?
Earlier this year, the subject of access path from Birch Close in Sleepy Hollow Manor to Kenal on Hudson had been discussed.
However, the issue was dropped when Birch Close residents fought the measure, apparently compiling a petition against reopening the historic access point.
The strip was originally fenced off as part of an agreement and special permit issued for the development of Kendal on Hudson.
Wray said the only way for the agreement to be modified would be for Kendal on Hudson residents to submit for an amendment to the special permit that was granted for the Kendal project.
"This board can't act," Wray said. "We can only act once the application comes in."
Wray said it would cost "tens of thousands of dollars" to make an application and include appropriate studies.
- Will there be a new environmental assessment on the GM Property?
Wray said that there would probably not be a new Environmental Impact Statement since a court-ordered agreement on the conditions for building the project upheld the original EIS earlier this year. .
- Will there be low-income housing in the GM project?
Wray said that 60 units of roughly 1,200 would be made "affordable" units.
- What is the outlook for the budget in the coming year?
Wray said the budget outlook was fairly good, and lauded the board for keeping tax increases over the last three years under four percent, total.
"This is not a time for tax increases," Wray said.
He noted that the budget process would begin again in January and that the major cost the village would have to cover is the rising state-mandated payment into the state's pension fund system.
The next Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees meeting will take place at 7 p.m., Dec. 14, at .