The resolution for the Republican-backed proposed Sewer Rent Law passed during the regularly-scheduled Village Board meeting held on Monday, November 7, 2005, on a split decision, with Mayor Schmidt, Trustees Brennan and Steinberg voting in favor of the measure, while Trustees Kane and Wiegman strongly opposed it.
Despite passage, the Republican majority was forced to amend the resolution just prior to voting when Croton-on-Hudson resident Pat Barua reiterated her previous concerns, on the same issue, that she raised at the October 17, 2005 public hearing, that portions of the new legislation itself, would be in violation of Village law. She maintained that, in order to set rates for a “rent”, the Village must complete a determination procedure to calculate the previous year’s sewer costs, then issue a public notice, and schedule a public hearing, none of which was done.
Option: Download and watch this video clip in Quicktime format (6.4 mb) that notes the response to Ms. Barua’s assertion, where Schmidt says nothing, quickly initiates a last-minute and hurried sidebar conversation with Village attorney Marianne Stecich to make the resolution presentable for a vote.
Then, without any discussion with the Village Board, Schmidt announced that board was going to vote on the sewer law but “without the last two resolutions” - without public explanation of what those two resolutions were or why those resolutions were being dropped (these were the sections that actually imposed the sewer charges which were set to go into effect as of December 1, 2005).
As of now, the Sewer Rent law, as passed, will go into effect on June 1, 2006, based on rates that the Village Board will set in April and May 2006 during the annual budget process. So, the first sewer rent bills will be part of the water bills that are sent at the end of the June to November 2006 six-month billing cycle.