Village of Tivoli Public Advisory: Notice of Elevated Lead Levels in Soils at Former Water Tower Site

What is the advisory?

The Village of Tivoli has received soil sample data indicating levels of lead in the soil under the former water tower, in Memorial Park, that are elevated above New York State Soil Cleanup Objectives.

How did we learn about this?

When the old water tower was removed, before and after soil samples were taken as a routine precaution to ensure no lead was released during the take-down. While the before and after samples were found to be the same, both indicated elevated lead levels, meaning the presence of lead predated the removal of the old tower.

What is lead and how can I be exposed to it?

Lead is a heavy metal that is naturally occurring in soils at low levels. Human activity has increased lead levels in soil from sources such as paint and automobile emissions from leaded gasoline. Although the use of lead paint been discontinued since the late 1970s, historic use of leaded products may result in elevated lead levels in soils in the vicinity of buildings and structures historically coated with lead paint.

Exposure to lead in soils commonly occurs when people come in contact with bare soils and soil particles are inhaled or ingested. Having a dense grass or vegetation cover over lead contaminated soils reduces exposure potential.

Lead in surface soils at Memorial Park is very unlikely to affect the quality of the Village’s drinking water. The Village’s water supply is drawn from wells that draw water from the underground aquifer. The Tivoli Water System is in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water.

How is the Village addressing the issue?

The Village has notified the Dutchess County Department of Community and Behavior Health and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Village and its environmental consultant are working with the agencies to develop a plan to determine the extent of lead in the soils near the former water tower and identify appropriate corrective action.

The Village will be restricting access to the area in the vicinity of the former water tower with snow fence. The Village’s environmental consultant will be collecting additional soil data to determine the extent of the soils with elevated lead levels. During this time, we ask that Memorial Park users avoid entering the restricted area.

The Village will provide additional updates through the Village website and email notification system as information becomes available. The assessment of soil lead levels in the vicinity of the former water tower is expected to take one month.

Meeting Date : September 6, 2022
Download Minutes : Download File

Village of Tivoli

Zoning Board of Appeals


September 6, 2022




Jonathan Trombly; Chairperson

Bob Zises

Karen Cleaveland

Mark Bennett

Ethan Palmer


Also Present

Melissa Bell, applicant



Call to Order

The meeting was held in the Historic Watts de Peyster Hall. It was opened at 7:00 PM.


New Business – 25 Pine St. Rear Set Back Area Variance

Jonathan Trombly began the meeting by asking the applicant, Melissa Bell, to introduce her project. She has a dental office at 25 Pine St. and would like to achieve two goals with a renovation to the rear of the building that will require an area variance for the rear set-back. First, she would like to enclose and perhaps expand by one foot an existing deck to create additional lab space. Second, she would like to relocate the rear entry door that services the accessible ramp to directly enter the reception area. The door currently connects to the ramp through the existing lab workspace. The property was purchased with an existing use variance for the dental practice and the deck and accessible ramp existed. She is requesting a 2 foot setback along a 16 foot length of the deck, from its south end, so the deck can be enclosed.


The property is in R15,000. The required rear set back is 25 feet and the required front set back is 20 feet. The property is existing non- conforming with a depth of 50 feet. The building is currently encroaching on the rear set back. The north corner is 7.5’ from the rear property line. The south corner is 9.2’ from the rear property line. The deck and ramp encroach an additional 5 feet.


Karen Cleaveland questioned whether there is another suitable location for the lab. Jonathan Trombly commented that there is a lot of space to either side of the building. Melissa Bell responded that the deck is unused space and is adjacent to the existing lab. The use will require access to the existing sink in the lab, and other areas of the building are allocated for other purposes such as a staff area. The new area will house a milling machine for crowns. She would like to be able to have an area behind a door to isolate the machine while it is running to keep down noise in the office.


Jonathan Trombly commented that the new entrance will need required clearances to be accessible. He suggested that she confirm that those requirements can be met by the amount of variance requested.


Jonathan Trombly commented that the applicant should resubmit a site plan with the footprint of the building, the existing rear set back and the proposed rear setback clearly indicated. The applicant submitted a survey with the distances to the two corners of the building indicated and altered plans from 2001. Ethan Plamer commented that she should submit fewer drawings with more information.


The amount of the variance was discussed. The applicant didn’t want to request too much of a variance and sought comment from the board. Ethan Palmer commented that perhaps she should confirm the dimensional requirements of accessibility and let those determine the exterior dimensions. Jonathan Trombly explained that if she received the variance and the BIZEO found that it could not conform to accessibility, it could hold up the project by requiring another variance. Increasing the existing footprint of the deck was discussed. The deck is currently 5 feet deep. Mark Bennett questioned whether the variance is required if the existing footprint is enclosed. Yes. To keep 5 feet clear, the footprint will increase by a minimum of the wall thickness. Melissa Bell commented that at a minimum she would like to plan to increase the footprint to 6 feet.


Karen Cleaveland commented that the property is in a residential district. Mark Bennett asked about its zoning. Karen Cleaveland responded that it has a use variance.


A site visit was scheduled for 6:30 on October 3, 2022.


County review was discussed. Although the property is zoned residential, the use is commercial, so the variance is not subject to the exemption to county review. The board requested that the application be forwarded to the county for review with the altered site plan.


SEQR was discussed. Jonathan Trombly identified it as a Type II Action on the list in 617.5, #9, as an alteration to a facility under 4000 sq feet.


Mark Bennett made a motion to declare the action to be Type II. Bob Zises seconded. All in favor. The action was declared to be Type II.


Ethan Palmer made a motion to schedule a public hearing for the application at 7pm on October 3, 2022. Karen Cleaveland seconded. All in favor. The public hearing was scheduled.



Ethan Palmer made a motion to approve the March 7, 2022 minutes. Mark Bennett seconded. All in favor. The minutes were approved.


Karen Cleaveland made a motion to close the meeting. Bob Zises seconded the motion. All in favor. The meeting was closed at 7:53 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Laura Gail Tyler

Deputy Village Clerk