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You are here: Home Section Table Village Voices Library To Open In November, Resident Encroaches on Right of Way Plus More from the Village Board
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Library To Open In November, Resident Encroaches on Right of Way Plus More from the Village Board

LibraryCafeA cafe in the entrance to Scarsdale Library will serve drinks, sandwiches, salads and more.The Scarsdale Library will open in just a few weeks. Plans for the opening of the renovated Scarsdale Library and a new café as well as a discussion of the use of open lands were among the items discussed at the Village Board meeting on October 27.

Library Opening

The library is expected to have a limited opening in late November. At the Village Board meeting, Margot Milberg, President of the Scarsdale Library Board of Trustees announced that a vendor for the library café had been selected. The library committee spent months scouting and meeting with vendors and they believe that Larchmont Epicure, operating as Apiary will provide delicious food at reasonable prices. The café will be located in the glassed library entrance.

Village Trustees approved a resolution to award the contract to run the Larchmont Epicure, granting them the license at an annual fee of $6,000 and 4% of gross revenues. The menu will include breakfast, sandwiches and entrees, salads, cakes, cookies, treats and snacks and a selection of coffees and beverages. The vendor has a mobile app to allow people to pick up food and go. They will use recyclable containers.

In anticipation of opening during COVID, the library has issued a survey and they encourage residents to complete it. Find it here. https://www.scarsdalelibrary.org. Responses to their survey will help to identify priorities.

Encroachment on Village Owned Land

A proposed resolution for a license agreement for Corell Road residents to use Village -owned land that abuts their property elicited an interesting discussion about residents’ use of Village-owned property.Correll RoadDiagram shows the paper street and the encroachment.

At issue was 3,500 square feet of property located on a paper street between Corell Road and Spruce Lane in Secor Farms. The paper street is fifty feet wide and 170 feet long and is located next to 41 Corell Road, owned by Bari and Peter Formaneck. They encroached on this property by extending their lawn, installing lawn furniture, fencing and landscaping walls, gardens, shrubbery, planting beds and trees.

In order to allow them to continue their “passive use” of the property,” Village staff did what they usually do, which is to propose a licensing agreement which would require the Formanecks to pay the Village a $1,250 administrative fee and an annual maintenance fee of $150.

However, before reading the resolution, Trustee Jonathan Lewis objected on the grounds that this allowed residents to take open space owned by the Village at a minimal cost. He said, “I believe we need a reset on how we approach the encroachment on public lands ….. I have no interest in promoting a land grab for public lands.” He pointed out that open space is at a premium and that the Village should have a carefully considered policy about how and if residents can encroach on this land. He said, “Approval of this resolution sends the wrong message to residents about our role as stewards of the environment and equitable treatment.” He requested a discussion of the Village’s remaining open spaces and the policy for managing these lands.correll2Residents improved the area with landscaping and trees.

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo said that the Board has approved revocable licenses in the past. He said the Planning Board did a study of paper streets in the Village in 1999. There were 32 paper streets in the Village and they recommended that some be maintained as paper streets for possible use later on and others be “de-mapped.” This paper street was on the de-map list. At the time, they discussed selling some of this property to neighboring property owners who might want to add it to their lots. However for this paper street, there are public utilities underneath it, complicating a sale. Pappalardo pointed out that if residents are granted a license, it’s up to them to care for the land and it lightens the load of Village landscapers who have to mow the lawn and maintain the property.

In the discussion that followed, Trustee Lena Crandall said, “Our open space inventory needs to be updated.” She said allowing vegetation to grow in these open spaces is good for flood mitigation. Trustee Arest was disturbed that the application for a license was submitted after the residents had encroached on Village owned land, not before. Seth Ross suggested that the Village Manager bring these licensing applications to the Board in advance of drafting an agreement. He said there are not so many that it would be burdensome.

After considerable discussion, the resolution was tabled to give Trustees and opportunity to further examine this case and to formulate a general policy.

Comments from the Mayor and Village Manager

In other business, Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote either early or on election day.

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo shared that the Village had just undergone an inspection by FEMA to evaluate the Village’s flood mitigation efforts. The Village received a strong numerical score that validates the Villages commitment to a comprehensive approach to flood plain management. As a result, residents who live in flood prone areas are qualified for a 10% reduction on flood insurance.

Pappalardo reviewed the work of Scarsdale Family Counseling Service and their programs to assist many segments of the community including youth, families and seniors. He emphasized that their service to the community has been especially valued during the pandemic. He encouraged those in need to contact them at www.SFCS.org.

Regarding Halloween, on Saturday October 31, Pappalardo said that the Village is advocating to both the New York State and CDC guidelines and that door to door trick or treating has been identified as a high-risk activity. These guidelines along with ideas for a safe and fun Halloween can be found on the Village website at www.scarsdale.com.

Public Comments

Jon Gliedman of Lyons Road spoke in support of improving traffic safety and asked the Village to make the intersection of Lyons Road and Sprague Road and a four way stop by adding two stop signs to the intersection. Brandon Cole agreed with Gliedman.

Leah Dembitzer, President of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale noted that extended hours for early voting has been added at all locations due to high voter turnout. Absentee ballots can be dropped off at drop boxes at these locations. For voting on election day, some locations have changed and voters should look up their polling place on the Board of Elections website here

Bob Berg supported the proposal for a four way stop on Lyons and Sprague Road. He said another pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk on Popham Road last week. He said the Village could designate short stretches for lower speed limits at dangerous points around the Village point.

Bob Harrison said he ran a successful youth tennis tournament last weekend.

Finances

The Village Board of Trustees held a work session on finances prior to the meeting. They projected that they would have a shortfall of $2.4 million this year. This is due to lower than expected revenues from sales tax ($661,000), parking ($1,495,000) and recreation ($303,000). This is a better scenario than originally projected. The Village has already set aside $2.5 million in a COVID account and has a positive fund balance to cover shortfalls. The Village’s situation is stable. However, shortfalls are expected to continue and Village managers will prepare for this in the months to come by suggesting budget reductions of 10% by department.

Bond Resolution

The Board approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of $1,750,000 in bonds to finance various improvements to the water supply and distribution system.

Gift from the Scouts

The Village accepted a gift of $2,000 from Edgewood Girl Scout Troop 2701 which has been disbanded. The funds will be used to replace benches in Davis Park.

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