New Fire Truck
Consultants retained by the village to help with the selection and purchase of a new fire truck answered trustee questions about the fire truck market, the bidding process, and truck specifications.
The fire truck market is "soft," according to the consultants, former New York City fire fighters who now have their own company, Emergency Vehicle Response, based in Otisville, New York. In a normal year, up to 5,500 fire trucks are manufactured. "This year the number is expected to hit only 3,000," said Tom Shand. "You can expect multiple bids and competitive pricing."
Fire truck prices are expected to rise after the first of the year. "That's the advantage of getting the bids before December and asking that they be good for 60 days," said Shand.
The fire truck that Sleepy Hollow is seeking meets "standard" specifications, but will still take up to one year to build.
Noting that the bond market is favorable right now, the Board passed a resolution, authorizing the village clerk to advertise for bids on the new fire truck which is expected to cost in excess of $600,000.
Trustee David Schroedel recognized the competent and professional manner in which the Fire Department presented its appeal for a new truck.
After being denied a permit by the Tree Commission to remove two large trees on his property at 3 Lakeshore Close in Sleepy Hollow Manor, resident Richard Giordano appealed to the Board to reconsider.
The trees in question are approximately 75 feet tall and only 15-20 feet from the house, according to Giordano.
"I love trees as much as the next guy," said Giordano, "but these are too close to the house."
The trees are Dawn Redwoods, large, fast-growing trees dating from prehistoric times. Considered to be a "living fossil," the Dawn Redwood was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in China in 1941. Seeds were brought to North America, where it now grows again.
Giordano said there used to be a third Dawn Redwood on his property until its root system grew into the home's drainage system and caused flooding and other expensive damage. Giordano couldn't say if or when he was issued a permit for removing that tree.
"The remaining trees are already causing damage to the driveway," he said. According to an arborist, retained by Giordano, cutting the tree roots to prevent further damage to the driveway or future damage to the drainage system would make the tree top heavy. "If that tree comes down, who is going to pay for the damage?"
Trustee Tom Capossela said he would vote in favor of removing the trees. "I've seen those trees," he said.
Tree Commission member Shelly Robinson said the trees are healthy, gorgeous trees. "These are spectacular trees. I saw little driveway damage. I see this as tree versus driveway."
Giordano said he is willing to replace the trees, but Robinson said the trees are irreplaceable.
Mayor Ken Wray suggested the Board read the arborist's report before making a decision.
Mayor Wray reported that a small mystery had been solved regarding ownership of Fremont Pond in Sleepy Hollow Manor. While the deed was transferred to the village from the Town of Mount Pleasant in 1999, the transaction was never recorded so the title was not in the village's name. A copy of the deed was found in the attic at Village Hall in a file marked "dredging," apparently put there by a previous administration.
"Now I'm convinced that we own it," said Wray, noting that files need to be digitized so "whoever comes after us will know where things are."
Village Attorney Janet Gondolfo updated the Board on more suggested changes to the village code. Noting that 70 percent of the code and suggested updates are now online, Gondolfo reviewed codes and sections that will updated or deleted, such as the code prohibiting the wearing of bathing suits in the village or the code making it illegal to push a shopping cart on village streets.
The Board is also considering requiring permits for filming on public and private property as other villages do. Currently permits are required only for filming on public property, but since filming on private property can be disruptive, the code may be changed to cover both instances.
The code against peddling in the village may also be strengthened, including more thorough background checks on groups that seek permits to go door-to-door.
Save the Post Office
A meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17 in the conference room at the Firehouse on Beekman Ave. with representatives of the U.S. Postal Service to discuss the fate of the Sleepy Hollow Post Office. Trustee Karin Wompa urged everyone to attend.
Garbage will be picked-up next week on Monday and Tuesday and recycling collection will take place on Wednesday. There is no garbage pick-up on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and regular pick-up on Friday.
Seasonal DPW Employees
The Board approved the hiring of two seasonal employees (for four months) for the Department of Public Works at $15 per hour.