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 : June 25, 2012
Download Minutes : Download File


The meeting, held at the Historic Watts dePeyster Hall, was opened at 7:02 pm and a quorum
was determined to be present for the conduct of business.
ZBA Attendees:

  • Chair Laura Gail Tyler
  • Karen Cleaveland
  • Bob Zises

Also present:

  • Trustee Susan Ezrati
  • Michele Greig (applicant)
  • Mike Billeci (Planning Board Chair)


  • Tim Lynch
  • Steven Tran


  • Bob Juliano

The first item of business was to approve the draft minutes from the April 23, 2012 meeting. The date of the meeting on the minutes was corrected to April 23 instead of April 24. Bob Zises moved to approve the minutes as amended, Karen Cleaveland seconded, all in favor. Motion carried.

5111-5115 Route 9G – Application for Interpretation: Chair Tyler stated that the next item on the agenda was the continuation of a public hearing from the April 23 meeting for applicant Jack Grumet. It was for an interpretation of the RB zoning district and whether self-storage would be allowed as part of light industry. Chair Tyler announced that the public hearing will not be opened tonight since there is now a six-month moratorium on all applications and permits in the RB district except for one and two family dwellings. There is no moratorium on interpretations and it does not apply to the process that was started. However, the applicant has decided to wait, since the zoning that the Board will be interpreting may not exist in six months. Trustee Ezrati then spoke about the moratorium on non-residential construction in the RB district that the Village Board had voted on. There had been a public hearing and some people had come forward to speak on this. There has been a Zoning Review Committee in place for about three months and they are addressing the zoning in the RB district. This is a continuation of a process that has been ongoing since 2005 when Tivoli passed a comprehensive plan which was a vision of what Tivoli should look like. It also has very explicit ideas of what the 9G corridor should be. The village has also been urged by the Town of Red Hook to update that zoning because they have updated the zoning on the other side of the road. The village has a draft law which includes some changes in principle uses. Light industry in that draft law is no longer a principle use or a special permitted use. There is a schedule which lists the principled uses and special permitted uses which are uses which will be permitted if the Planning Board determines that the property is suitable for that particular use. They would look at such things as traffic issues, location, access in and out and ample parking before they would permit that use. There are also accessory uses, for example someone adding a hair salon or craft studio to their residence, which are also permitted under this draft law. Trustee Ezrati explained that there are a number of things that need to be done to get this codified into law, including a complete SEQR review, hold a public hearing, ask the Planning Board to discover whether the draft law is consistent with the LWRP. The members of the Zoning Review Committee are Chair Tom Cordier, Martin Clarke, Mark Bennett and Jennifer Harris. Susan Ezrati is the Board liaison to the Zoning Review Committee.
Chair Tyler then announced that we will continue the public hearing on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm. She is holding the public hearing open so that should Jack Grumet’s application be relevant and he wants to proceed, he will not need to re-notice for the public hearing.

45 Montgomery Street – Area Variance: Applicant Michele Greig would like to add on one bedroom to her house. She is seeking an area variance for a front yard set-back that is two feet less than the required 20 feet. Addition would be set back 2 feet from the front façade of the house. The house is 16 feet from the road and the addition would be 18 feet from the road. The setback starts from the road pavement. The applicant stated that she lost 2 feet of setback when they paved the road. The roof line of the addition will follow the roof line of the main structure. The application and maps were reviewed by the Board and a discussion followed.
Chair Tyler asked a question about parking. Applicant said there is gravel parking on the side of the house. She has 24 feet between the addition and the property line. She only needs 18 feet for two parking spaces. She would rather have one car park behind the other. There’s usually one car parked there now. The applicant completed a short EAF since this is a type II action. A public hearing is scheduled for July 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm for an area variance. A site visit is scheduled for 6:30 pm on the same date.
Karen Cleaveland moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:36 pm. Bob Zises seconded, all in favor.
Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted,
Claire Roff, ZBA Secretary