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Board of Trustees Report Repaving, New Gas Lines and New Stores in the Village

ScarsdaleVillageThis week’s Scarsdale Board of Trustees’ meeting was largely positive and brief, in contrast to the miserable weather that has taken hold in the Village.

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor Dan Hochvert opened the meeting by providing an update on the village’s efforts to improve communications with Con Edison and make the utility more accountable during power outages. He will be meeting with the Public Service Commission later this month to “encourage the… commission to have a tighter relationship with local municipalities and the crews that come to work here… because that will speed the process of power restoration.”

He also discussed last week’s meeting on sharing services with other municipalities in an effort to save money. “The entire municipality group assembled at the county center… and voted unanimously in favor of a shared services plan that was sent to the governor,” he said. While Scarsdale would not be required to participate in sharing all services that were discussed, there are several areas of interest for the village that will be examined further during next year’s budget process.

Hochvert closed by urging residents to vote in the New York State primary election,
“Please, go out and support your candidates.”

Village Manager:

Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo then discussed the continuing infrastructure work in and around the village, including street paving and gas main restoration. Recent rains, and stoppages to due to Rosh Hashanah and school drop off and pickup have caused delays in some projects; work will continue during the coming weeks. Specifically, ConEd is working to install new gas mains in sections of Scarsdale Avenue, Post Road, Hamilton/Richelieu, and Weaver Street. And, the resurfacing of Post Road continues, but is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Pappalardo also reported that the village has been awarded a grant from the New York State Department of Health to upgrade its water fluoridation system. A recent review of the system indicated “necessary system upgrades to continue the provision of fluoridated water, which is an identified goal of the New York State Department of Health.” The state grant will cover the entire cost of the required changes, estimated at $260,000; work will commence in the coming year at no cost to Scarsdale.


Trustee Justin Arest began the trustee reports portion of the meeting by inviting residents to take a more active role in local government and volunteer on village boards and councils. “Although most board and council appointments are made in April… the village is always collecting applications, and I encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to apply… If you can’t find anything, or are unsure, please feel free to contact me and I will help you find something.” Arest also announced that Scarsdale’s Ad Hoc Committee on Communications is working on revising public information on boards and councils to provide more insight into each group and member responsibilities.

In concluding his comments, Arest noted that the trustees would later vote to transfer of $334,518 in funds from the Scarsdale Cable Television Commission special reserve account to its equipment account to support improvements related to the library renovation. These upgrades will provide television access to library programs and resources.

Trustee Jane Veron followed and began by providing an update on the Freightway development project. “We have issued an RFP for a topographic survey of the site and just this morning… attended a pre-submission meeting with those who are interested in submitting proposals for the RFEI… the goal (of the RFEI) is to understand the qualifications and experiences of interested developers and to provide relevant input that will help us as we develop an RFP.”

She also discussed recent progress in filling vacant storefronts in the village center. “We have seen so much progress… the village center is thriving; I encourage residents to welcome our newest (retailer), the Bronx River Bookstore… The SBA – Scarsdale Business Alliance – is alive and well… there is tremendous energy and interest in cooperating with the village.”

Trustee Matt Callaghan then discussed his work with Scarsdale’s senior community, and an interest in having village government department heads meet with residents to discuss their roles and responsibilities. Callaghan also mentioned the village human resources group’s new mission statement and efforts to improve its collaboration with other village departments. He closed by congratulating the fire department on its program to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. “It was a moving day… we should be reminded that… it celebrates courage and valor, and that’s really the legacy and heritage of our country.”

Trustee Lena Crandall went on to report on her work as a board member of the Coalition on Family Violence and Healthy Relationships. “This group brings together representatives from various local groups to raise awareness of the different types of violence that impact our residents of all ages.” Crandall then announced that Hitchcock Presbyterian Church will host a seminar and community lunch with Nelba and Jim Marquez-Greene, parents who lost their child in the Sandy Hook shooting, on Sunday, September 30. For more information, visit

Trustee Carl Finger closed the trustee reports by mentioning that the village sustainability and law committees had just met to discuss additional revisions to the tree code that would address clear cutting. “We anticipate having another committee meeting in the not-too-distant future, and we hope that everyone who is interested will attend and comment, or submit comments.”

Public Comments:

Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) asked about paving specifications for Post Road, specifically the amount of new asphalt to be applied. “The first course looked a little thin…” Hochvert and Pappalardo assured Harrison that a suitable amount of asphalt would be used and Pappalardo would provide specific information later.

Harrison then questioned increases in the estimated construction cost of the library renovation project (from $18.4 million to $20.2 million) and whether the village would need to cover the overage. Pappalardo responded that fund balances in the library fund and a number of charitable trust funds will cover most of the overage. About $180,000 is for cost of preparing the Supply Field facility to house the library’s temporary location, which the village was committed to pay from the outset. Hochvert then assured Harrison that the $9.9 million bond issue will not change.

Nilofer Kreonidis (Carman Road) raised concerns about distributed antenna systems, smart meters, cellphone towers and wifi exposure in schools. With regard to the DAS issue, she said, “I’m aware that Rye has won its lawsuit (against Crown Castle); I’m wondering where Scarsdale stands on this issue... Smart meters are going to be installed soon… there’s an opt-out; you can pay $10 a month to not have a smart meter. Is there an effort to make the public aware of this issue?” She continued, “The third issue I’m concerned about is wifi exposure in schools, which is exploding… In a short period of time, we are really saturating ourselves with wifi… then you can add the cellphone tower issue as well…. Give the enormity of it, is there a commission or committee being formed to discuss wifi in those four areas?”

Hochvert responded, “There are federal requirements that limit what we can do regarding the placement of distributed antenna systems systems. However, we do have a section in our code that limits placement.” He continued, “There’s direction coming from the FCC that is likely to be challenged… they are proposing taking away the power of municipalities to limit distribution… We are relying on our representatives (to block these efforts).” He also advised Kreonidis to discuss her concerns about wifi in schools with the School Board of Education.

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