A notice from Community Based Services, a resource for the developmentally disabled, regarding a proposed group home at 17 East Hill Road brought on a heated discussion at the on Monday night.
Cortlandt already has 16 group homes, explained Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi of the towns homes dedicated to the developmentally disabled.
“We are sympathetic, but have done more than our fair share,” Puglisi said.
“We have more group homes than other place in the county,” argued board member Ann Lindau.
Town Attorney Thomas Wood responded that Cortlandt is more affordable. The state gives the agency a maximum grant per person-funds which are “sufficient to come up with a home in Cortlandt, as opposed to a home in Scarsdale.”
“There should be a sliding scale,” said board member Frank Farrell.
The residents of East Hill Road have signed a petition opposing the proposal. The town board officially objects as well, and has set up a meeting with residents on Tuesday, April 26 at Town Hall. The agency has been invited to attend. “If we don’t do it within 40 days, we lose that opportunity,” explained Puglisi.
The board feels stymied. “It’s all state regulated,” Wood explained. “You have to show that the establishment of this home will have an impact on the character of the community. It’s virtually an impossible stand.”
“We have lobbied our state officials on this, sent them resolutions, sent them letters, told them we need legislation” added Puglisi, “and it hasn’t been done.”
Another topic on the agenda was a new local law concerning septic system inspections within the East of Hudson Watershed.
Attorney Wood explained that the law is required by New York State to assist New York City.
The law mandates that every septic tank in this area be examined by a licensed inspector once every five years. The town is required to notify all homeowners and provide appropriate forms. About 15 percent of the town, about 1000 properties, falls within the specified area.
Letters will go out in May. Homeowners have a certain number of days to respond. If a septic tank has been cleaned within the last year, the owner will have another four years before it has to be done again.
“It’s a good thing,” said Puglisi. “The whole purpose is to protect the environment.”
There will be a public hearing on the septic issue at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
The board also touched briefly on the town’s lack of an official street-naming policy. The Mt. Carmel Society of Verplanck would like to rename a section of Eighth Street “Anthony ‘Chubby’ Capicotti Way.” The decision is being referred to the Department of Environmental Services.
The board agreed to authorize the following resolutions:
-Repairs to the drain at the Charles Cook Pool. It will cost about $25,000, a minor sum compared to repairs elsewhere of previous years.
-Signing of a contract with KC Security to develop a better security system for the Town Hall. The consultation charge will be $5000, the lowest of the quotes received. The highest quote was around $100,000.
-An agreement between the DES and Fleet Management Software/Hardware to create a more efficient system for tracking repairs and service issues on town equipment. There are about 150 vehicles in the fleet. The cost will be between $15,000 and $20,000 but should save money in the long run. A cost-benefit analysis has been requested.
-A special town board meeting on April 25 at 7 p.m. to award the contract for the Route 202/35 intersection improvements and the Town Hall HVAC maintenance. Bids will be opened on April 19. So far 25 companies have picked up bid packages.
-An agreement with the NYS Department of Transportation and Verizon to place banners along state highways within the town. Crews will start hanging Shop Cortlandt, Shop Local, Go Green banners on Friday. “It’s very exciting,” said Puglisi. Locations are Cortlandt Blvd., Route 9A and Route 202. It’s all part of the town’s Taking Care of Business initiative to help boost local businesses. The kickoff is at 3 p.m. on April 29 at . “The market is 101 years old,” Puglisi added. “We’ll have a little ceremony.”