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Town to Co-Sponsor Peer-to-Peer Group Event, Awards Vendor for Emergency Notification System

Town officials discuss affordable housing, tax installment payment law; more updates from June 28 Town Board work session.

Here is a look at what happened during the June 28 Town Board work session: 

Woodlands Legacy Fields

Town board members met with members of the Park and Recreation Department to discuss placing stops signs because there is an issue that people are speeding in the area. Also, discussed was to make parking available on both sides of the street. "I think the stop sign would protect us from a very dangerous situation," Councilman Jim Martorano said. Board members decided to go with the 3-way stop signs to initially deal with the problems. 

Use of DeVito Field by Young Yorktown Advocates United

Jessica D'Amato, who started the peer-to-peer group Young Yorktown Advocates United, came to the town board along with her mother Cathy D'Amato to request the town to waive a permit fee and insurance requirements for . Members of the organization To Write Love on Her Arms, dedicated to providing help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, will speak to Yorktowners on Sept. 24 at the Jack Devito Field, after the YYAU reached out to the group. Young Yorktown Advocates United had to raise $5,000, which they did, in order to have the speaker come to Yorktown. In a 4-1 vote, town board members voted to co-sponsor the event, essentially waiving the $500 fee for the use of the venue. 

Children's Room Renovations

Pat Barresi, John C. Hart Memorial Library director along with other members, presented to town board members their plans to renovate the Children's Room. It's been 20 years since it was last renovated. 

  • The project would include: enlarging the program (or story time) room by 50 percent; new paint and finishes and carpet tiles; relocating media room (there have been complaints from parents that the first thing children see when they walk in is DVDs); rearrange shelves for more natural light; update circulation desk; add automated book checking system for self check out; consolidate computers into one area; 
  • Advantages of project-- no additional taxpayers money is needed; the total cost for the project is $140,000 but there are $45,000 already available in a fund; and they would need to raise the rest $95,000; there is no major construction involved---activities won't be disturbed; also they will repurpose existing furniture
  • Fundraising efforts -- on Sept. 17 Kurt Gallagher has already been booked at the Yorktown Stage. The Yorktown Stage is providing the venue at charge, except for lighting and the cost of hiring a custodian; The other three fundraising efforts would be a golf outing and a wine tasting. 
  • The library staff asked board members to help get the word out; also they're looking for local sponsors who would be willing to help out with gifts. 

Housing Set Aside Law

Westchester has been on the hook to since 2009, when the county settled a federal lawsuit with the Anti-Discrimination Center. Board members discussed Tuesday night the draft legislation on the housing set aside law. It was discussed whether a developer's current application should be subjected to the law, but the majority said they would rather not hold someone to a law that does not even exist yet. If the law is passed, a developer would be required to set aside a certain number of housing units aside for affordable housing-- they would be smaller and cheaper. Discussions on the issue will continue. 

Zoning Changes and Amendments

John Tegeder, the town's planning director, presented a proposal on the rezoning for Village Traditions (located on Route 6) to be used as office spaces. Board members approved that he proceeds with drafting the appropriate changes. He also presented a proposed amendment to the C-1 zone regarding warehousing uses (in the Staples Plaza). "Anything we can do to fill these empty stores," Councilman Nick Bianco said. Board members will continue the discussion during their July 12 meeting.

There was a discussion on the proposed amendments to sections of the zoning code dealing with notification signs and fence heights. The building department had been receiving phone calls about what's allowed and what's as far as the heights of fences and signs, Supervisor Susan Siegel said. There is currently nothing in the local law addressing the issue. The height of a fence can't be greater than the distance between the retaining wall and the fence, she said. The matter was referred to the planning and zoning boards. 

Alarm Monitoring and Emergency Notification

Board members reviewed proposals for newer monitoring technology. It was recommended by vendors that the town switches to radio transmitters, which are more dependable and cheaper than phones. Five different companies had submitted a request for proposal to the town. The contract was awarded to Marshall Alarms, the town's current vendor. Its new quote was lower than what the town has been paying, which would be saving the town $2,937 a year. 

Out of nine companies, board members decided to go with Delta Alert for their emergency notification system. In April, the town was  to implement a high-speed, web-based emergency notification system which would notify residents of emergencies via voice, e-mail, and text messages. Residents have the choice of indicating how they would want to be notified in case of an emergency. Residents would be notified only in case of emergencies and if for example there is a water break in one part of town, only the affected residents in the area would be notified. 

Cost of Recycling Bins

Yorktown residents will have the option of purchasing an 18-gallon recycling bin for $8, which would fit more of the mandatory recycling items. Starting on June 1 all Westchester County residents, businesses, and schools are . The town also sells 14-gallon bins for $6. The bigger bins would be officially placed on the agenda next week when board members are expected to pass the resolution.

Tax Installment Payment Law 

Board members reviewed the tax installment payment law regarding a default. Town attorney Jeanette Koster said the state law, which the town has modeled its agreement on, is contradictory to county law. She said the town would have to change it so that it's better explained that when someone signs an agreement to pay his or her liens over a period of time, the property owner must also pay the current taxes. Board members will advertise for a public hearing on July 19 before they can make changes to the law.

Councilman James Martorano July 01, 2011 at 01:05 PM
I want to applaud the efforts of Jessica D'Amato in trying to do something to stem the tragic recent tide of young people's deaths in our town. I am solidly behind her efforts and look forward to partnering with her in raising consiousness on such an important issue. That is why I suggested last tuesday that the town co-sponsor her event in September. We need to do everything we can to chip and help our young people......it really shouldnt even be an issue!

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