There shall be in the City of Hudson a department known as "The Department of Public Works."
There shall be appointed by the Mayor a Commissioner of Public Works, who shall be head of the Department of Public Works.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall hold office during the pleasure of the Mayor.
The appointment of the Commissioner of Public Works shall be evidenced by a certificate in writing signed by the Mayor and filed forthwith in the office of the City Clerk.
[Amended 12-18-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have the power to appoint a Superintendent of Public Works and such other subordinates as may be necessary to exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred and imposed upon him by law. The appointment of the Superintendent and subordinates shall be provisional pending passing of the civil service examination and shall thereafter be permanent after completion of a probationary period. In case of the absence or inability of the Commissioner, or of a vacancy in the office of Commissioner, the Superintendent of Public Works shall discharge the duties of the Commissioner until the Commissioner returns, the disability ceases or the vacancy is filled.
The Commissioner and such other persons as the Commissioner shall designate, before entering upon the discharge of their duties of their respective offices, shall each execute and file with the City Clerk an official undertaking in such sum as may be specified elsewhere in this Charter.
The Commissioner of Public Works, subject to the provisions of law, shall have cognizance, direction and control of the construction, maintenance, alteration, repair, care, cleaning, paving, flagging and improving of the streets, highways, sidewalks and public places of the City; of the construction, alteration, extension. maintenance and repair of all docks and bridges belonging to the City and of all buildings and appurtenances of the public sewer and water systems; and of the care, superintendence and management of and improvement of all parks and grounds belonging to the City, except lands forming part of the City cemetery. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Commissioner shall have supervision of control over and jurisdiction and authority to make all ordinary repairs or improvements upon the streets, parks, crosswalks, gutters, vaults, drains, culverts, bridges and public ways and places of the City, including the cleaning, sprinkling, laying of dust with substances other than water, watering and flushing of the same, and may employ such laborers, teams and machinery and incur such expenditures as may be necessary within the limits of the appropriations made therefor. It shall be his duty to inspect the same with sufficient frequency to ascertain their condition and cause the same to be kept free from obstructions and in good condition and repair and reasonably safe for public use. The Commissioner shall also have the general supervision and control of all work performed under any contract of the City for local or other improvements to be performed within or upon any of the public streets, parks, ways and places, or with reference to the public works and ways within the jurisdiction of his department, and shall cause the same to be performed in full compliance with the provisions of any contract therefor.
In addition to the powers and duties specifically enumerated herein, the Commissioner of Public Works shall have the same authority, powers and duties heretofore vested in and held by any previous commission or commissioner having powers of supervision over the Public Works Department under this or any previous Charter or local law, except as otherwise may have been amended.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have the supervision of the expenditures of all moneys appropriated to the Department of Public Works.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have the authority to administer oaths and take evidence, affidavits and acknowledgments in all meetings and proceedings pertaining to the Department. He shall have the general supervision over the records of the Department and its officers and employees. He shall possess such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law and all ordinances and local laws of the Common Council of the City of Hudson.
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Public Works to meet with the Mayor of the City of Hudson, for the purpose of reporting to him the condition of the Department of Public Works and the conduct of his office, on the second Tuesday of each month; provided, however, that in the event the second Tuesday of any month should fall upon a public holiday, he shall meet with the Mayor on the first day thereafter.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall not have power to extend any street or highway now open, nor to open or lay out any new street or highway, nor proceed to construct any such new street or highway, unless the same shall have been ordered to be laid out or opened by the Common Council, in which case said Commissioner shall have sole and exclusive power, and it shall be his duty to forthwith construct the same.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have exclusive power and it shall be his duty to determine and establish the grades of all streets, squares, places, alleys, lanes and roads of the City, and the roadways, sidewalks, crosswalks, curbstones, gutters and drains thereon, and all sewers repaired or constructed under his supervision, and to call upon the Superintendent of Public Works to make and furnish any and all surveys, plans and estimates which said Commissioner may require of him in the performance of any of the duties imposed by this article. All grades established by said Commissioner shall be described, and the description of such grades, and of all alterations thereof, shall be recorded by the Commissioner in a book or books, to be called "grade books," which shall be preserved in his office. All surveys and measurements made under his direction, adopted and acted upon, shall be recorded in detail in books to be called "survey books," which shall be preserved in his office.
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Public Works to clean the streets of the City and lay the dust thereon, either by sprinkling with water, flushing or by the use of substances other than water.
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Public Works, and he shall have power, to determine what, if any, of said highways shall be rebuilt or repaired, paved or repaved, and the manner in which such work shall be done and the material to be used for such purpose. He shall also have exclusive power and it shall be his duty to determine the methods and materials to be used in building all roadways, sidewalks, crosswalks, gutters, drains, bridges and culverts in and upon any highway which may hereafter be opened and laid out by the Common Council, and to supervise and conduct the building thereof as soon as practicable after said highways or any of them shall have been opened and laid out.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have exclusive power, and it shall be his duty, to make all excavations necessary in any of the highways of said City for the purpose of laying, repairing, removing or replacing any drains and water mains or pipes, or for any other public purpose whatsoever.
Any board, commission or corporation, public or private, or any person or persons desiring to have any excavation or excavations made in any of the highways of the City, shall apply to the Commissioner of Public Works for that purpose, and the Commissioner may, if he deems such excavation necessary, issue a permit at such fee as he may determine to be reasonable. If any property owner fails to perform a necessary excavation or replace an excavation properly, the Commissioner of Public Works shall thereupon proceed to have the work done by and under his direction at a reasonable price to be fixed and charged therefor by the Commissioner, which shall be the lowest cost of excavating and refilling and the proper repair and replacing of the roadway above such excavation, which sum shall be a lien upon the property benefited by such excavation, and the Commissioner of Public Works may enforce its collection by appropriate remedies; such lien shall be entitled to preference over any other liens. In case of the building of public sewers ordered by the Common Council in and upon any of the highways of said City, the building thereof, the filling of the excavations and trenches and the repairing of the roadway over the same shall be conducted by the Department of Public Works. Any board, commission or corporation, public or private, or any person or persons who shall make any excavation or excavations in any of said highways of said City, except in the manner hereinabove provided, shall be guilty of a violation punishable as follows: by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days or by a fine not exceeding $250, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of a violation shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder. The City Court shall have jurisdiction to try all such offenses.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have power to require the owner or occupant of any lot or lots to make, lay, relay, repair, grade and regrade the sidewalk in front of, in the rear of or on the side of said lot or lots, and to curb and gutter adjoining the sidewalk, or to construct a culvert under the same, or to reset the curbstone, and relay the gutter and reconstruct the culvert, all with such material as he may prescribe therefor, under the direction of and on a grade to be established by said Commissioner, within a time to be fixed by him, which time shall not be less than 30 days from the time of the service of the copy of the notice upon such owner, agent, occupant or person in possession. The Commissioner of Public Works shall cause to be served, at least 30 days before the expiration of the time so specified for such work to be done, upon the owners of the lands adjoining such sidewalks, curbstones, gutter or culvert, so to be made as aforesaid, a copy of such notice, with a notice that if the same is not done within the specified time by the owner of the adjoining land, it will be done by the Department of Public Works at the expense of such owner. It shall be the duty of the owner or owners of such property or properties to obtain a permit from the Department of Public Works prior to doing any work required by this section. Work started without such permit may be stopped by the Department of Public Works until such permit is obtained. Any person violating such a stop order and/or failing to obtain a permit shall be guilty of a violation punishable as follows: by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days or by a fine not exceeding $250, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of a violation shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder. The City Court shall have jurisdiction to try all such offenses.
Such notice and all notices in this section mentioned may be served upon such owner or owners, whether he be a resident or nonresident, in any of the following ways, namely:
By delivering a copy thereof to the owner personally; or
By delivering a copy thereof to some member of his family of a suitable age and discretion; or
By delivering a copy thereof to any person of suitable age and discretion residing with him; or
By delivering a copy thereof to his agent having charge of such property; or
By delivering a copy thereof to any occupant of such property of suitable age and discretion; or
By depositing a copy thereof in the post office at Hudson, New York, securely closed in an envelope with the postage prepaid thereon, directed to such owner at his last known place of residence; or
By affixing a copy thereof upon a conspicuous part of the premises.
An error in or the omission of the name of any owner or owners of the abutting property shall not vitiate or impair any proceeding or act under this section, provided service of such notice has been made in any of the ways hereinbefore authorized. The officer making such service shall, in his affidavit of service, specify the mode of service employed by him. The Commissioner of Public Works shall also, at least 20 days before the expiration of the time specified for such work to be done, cause a copy of such notice to be published at least once in the official paper or papers of said City. If there be two or more owners of any piece of property, service upon one of them shall be sufficient. Affidavits of the publication and service of such notice may be filed or recorded, or both, in the office of the Clerk of said City, and the affidavits, or the record thereof, or a certified copy of either, shall, in all courts and places, actions and proceedings, be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
In case any such improvement, act or thing so required shall not be made, done or completed as required within the time specified, the Commissioner of Public Works shall have the power to make, do or complete or contract to complete the same at a cost not exceeding the actual cost of labor and material for such proposed improvement, to which may be added not to exceed 10% thereof to cover the cost of the service and publication of the notice, as provided by this section, and such other expense as the City may incur in making the proposed improvement.
All City expenses in performing improvements, acts or things required to be made, done or completed by this section shall be a lien upon the property benefited by such improvements, acts or things, and the Commissioner may enforce its collection by appropriate remedies.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have power and it shall be his duty to regulate the setting and location of telegraph, telephone and electric light and power poles, gasoline tanks and pumps, tie posts and horse blocks, and to remove them or any of them summarily if, in his judgment, they interfere with the safe and full use of the highway by the public, and in case the owner or owners, after reasonable notice, refuse to remove them or change their location. All City expenses incurred in performing such removals shall be a lien upon the property upon which such removals are made, and the Commissioner of Public Works may enforce its collection by appropriate remedies.
In addition to other powers conferred upon him by law, the Commissioner of Public Works of the City of Hudson is hereby empowered to prohibit or regulate, to restrict, locate or relocate the placing or maintenance of tanks, containers, pumps and similar appliances for the storage and distribution of gasoline or other motor fuel and to prohibit or regulate the placing or maintenance of air towers for the storage and distribution of compressed air, within the boundaries of any public highway or place in the City, or beneath the surface of any such public highway or place; to remove existing tanks, containers, air towers and appliances heretofore placed in any such public highway or place, or such as may be so placed pursuant to this Charter; and for the purposes of revenue or regulation, the Common Council may require license fees, bonds, permits or other consents for the maintenance and operation of all such tanks, containers, air towers, pumps and similar appliances as are or may be placed as aforesaid, and may adopt an ordinance, ordinances, local law or local laws carrying into effect the powers granted to the Commissioner of Public Works by this or any other provision of law and may provide for the enforcement of such ordinance, ordinances, local law or local laws by prescribing penalties for violations thereof.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have power and it shall be his duty to erect and keep firmly in the ground all signs, posts, parking meter posts, stanchions, frames, fence posts and fences on the streets, sidewalks and alleys as may be required for the purpose of City use, and shall maintain and keep in proper repair and/or replace all street name signs as conditions warrant.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall also have power, and it shall be his duty, to regulate and control the planting and setting out of trees and shrubs in and upon the highways, streets, sidewalks and all other public places of the City, except cemetery lands, and to inspect and ascertain the condition of such trees and shrubs so planted. If, in his sole judgment, any such tree or shrub shall have become unsightly, detrimental to or destructive of any highway, street, sidewalk or public place, or shall interfere with, impede or prevent the safe or full use thereof by the public, the Commissioner shall notify the owner of the property abutting the place upon which such tree or shrub stands or stood to remove the same or the stump thereof, or otherwise prune such tree or shrub, within such period of time, not to exceed 30 days, from the date of such notice as the Commissioner shall prescribe. In the event that such owner shall fail, refuse or neglect so to do, the Commissioner shall have the power forthwith to cause such tree, shrub or stump to be pruned or removed and all City expenses incurred in performing such pruning or removal shall be a lien upon the property upon which such pruning is made, and the Commissioner of Public Works may enforce its collection by appropriate remedies. The trunk, trunks, shoots or stump of any tree or shrub directed to be removed under the provisions of this section or any other provision of law shall be severed at or below ground level or grade only and no part thereof shall be permitted to protrude above such level or grade. For the purposes of this section, any tree or shrub which overhangs any highway, street, sidewalk or public place in such a way as to impede or interfere with traffic or travel thereon or which obstructs any street lamp or traffic light or sign or interferes therewith shall be deemed to have been planted or set out in and upon such public ways and places.
The Commissioner of Public Works shall have power, and it shall be his duty, to make proper rules and regulations for the use of the City water, and to provide for the protection and preservation of the waterworks and all property connected therewith, and to enact proper penalties, not exceeding $250 for each offense, for the violation of any such rules or regulations. A summary of such rules and regulations shall be published once in the official paper and such publication shall be notice thereof to all persons. Such rules and regulations may be enforced and such penalties be collected with costs by said Commissioner in his name, in either the Supreme Court, the County Court of Columbia County or the City Court created by this Charter, and the observance of such rules and regulations may also be enforced by cutting off the use and supply of water from any person violating the use of them, or either of them.
Said Commissioner of Public Works may establish a scale of annual rents or fix the sum or sums of money to be paid by any person, firm or corporation within the limits of said City of Hudson that may be permitted by said Commissioner to use the City water. Said Commissioner shall report all such leases and all sums so fixed by monthly reports to the City Treasurer, who shall collect such rents and sums of money fixed or agreed upon for the use of said water. The Commissioner shall also have power and authority to establish a scale of annual rents or fix a sum or sums of money or consideration to be paid by any person, firm or corporation without the limits of said City that may be permitted by said Commissioner to use said water for any purpose, and said Commissioner is hereby empowered to permit the use of said water by such persons, firms or corporations as in his discretion may seem best in the interests of said City; provided, however, that no agreement or contract shall be entered into for the use of said water which shall extend for a period of greater than five years, but the City shall not in any event be liable for damages, or otherwise, to any such persons, firms or corporations for any damages resulting to any of them either from a diminution or failure of the amount of water supply or from any pollution or impurity of the same, or from any leakage or defect in the system of reservoirs, pipes and mains supplying said water. The Commissioner of Public Works shall at all times have the right as against any such person, firm or corporation, without liability on his part, to shut off the supply of water whenever and for so long a time as in his judgment may be necessary. Said Commissioner shall report all such leases and all sums so fixed by monthly reports to the City Treasurer, who shall collect such rents and sums of money fixed or agreed upon for the use of said water without the limits of said City.
All moneys received from the sale of water shall be used in paying the expense of maintaining the water system, and any surplus remaining shall be applied to the payment upon maturity of any outstanding water improvement bonds of the City. When all of such bonds shall have been paid and discharged, then such surplus shall be placed by the City Treasurer to the credit of a fund to be known as the "Water Rent Fund," which shall be used when required for the improvement, extension, enlargement, repair or replacement of the water supply system. Until such fund, or any part thereof, shall be required for any of the purposes herein stated, the City Treasurer shall invest the same in such securities as the savings banks of this state are by law permitted to invest in, and the income therefrom shall be added to and become a part of such fund. The purpose of this section, among other things, is to provide a perpetual fund for water supply purposes.
The City Treasurer shall annually report to the Common Council, under oath, the amount standing to the credit of such sinking fund. The Common Council may at any time require the City Treasurer to furnish a bond, additional to that hereinbefore provided for, with sufficient sureties and in an amount to be approved by the Common Council, conditioned for the care, preservation and security of the Water Rent Fund, and of any securities purchased under the provisions of this section, and the City Treasurer shall at any time upon the request of the Mayor, City Judge, Commissioner of Public Works or members of the Common Council, or any of them, exhibit to them, or any of them, the securities held by him under the provisions of this section, and give them, or any of them, full opportunity to examine the same.
[Added 5-18-1976 by L.L. No. 5-1976]
In addition to other powers conferred upon him by law, the Commissioner of Public Works is hereby empowered to regulate the routine operation and maintenance of the mass-transit facilities and to enter into leases for the rental of buses owned by the City at hourly rates as adopted by the Common Council.