Cold Spring Budget to Increase 2.49 Percent

Falloon declines raise and stipend

By Michael Turton

Only four members of the public were on hand as the Village of Cold Spring held its public hearing on the proposed 2013-14 budget on Thursday, April 11. Trustees will vote to adopt the final budget on April 23.

Spending in 2013-134 will total $2,673, 37, a 2.49 percent increase over last year. The tax rate per $1000 of assessed property value will be $10.38 — up 25 cents from 2012-13. Property owners will also see a $4 increase per unit per quarter in the flat rate sewer fee.

Cold Spring Village office (photo by M. Turton)

Cold Spring Village office (photo by M. Turton)

Changes from the previous, tentative budget were few and minor, though positive. The village will pay the Fireman’s Service Award $8,713 less than originally expected. As a result, the new budget will come in $14,258 below the tax cap imposed by New York state. In addition, newly elected Mayor Ralph Falloon announced that he will not accept a raise that had been budgeted for the position. “I already get a raise by moving from trustee to mayor,” he said. Falloon will also decline the stipend he is entitled to as Village Budget Officer. The two actions will save the village $4,500.

Falloon delivered the 2013-14 budget message, a summary of major spending proposed for the upcoming year. High on the list is the $769,030 Main Street project that will undertake long-awaited sidewalk improvements. Eighty percent of the project cost will be picked up by a federal grant with the village paying the remaining 20 percent.  The village intends to pay for $140,000 of its share of costs through a five-year capital note.

The project will also make Main Street sidewalks handicap accessible, add crosswalks and implement drainage and lighting improvements. Other village sidewalk repairs and street paving are budgeted at $10,000 and $15,000 respectively. To help fund the purchase of a new police vehicle, $12,000 was added to the equipment budget. Payments into police and employees’ retirement will increase by approximately $9,000.

Water and Wastewater Superintendent Greg Phillips also reviewed a number of upcoming projects, including connecting to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection water line next fall as a prelude to undertaking improvements to village dams; water line repairs; aeration and electrical upgrades; sanitary sewer repairs; and maintenance and replacement of the Market Street pumping station. A new pickup will also be purchased, to be paid for over the next two years.

8 thoughts on “Cold Spring Budget to Increase 2.49 Percent

  1. I also donated my chair stipend of $1041. That means I will only get my base salary of either $6,000 or the raise amount of $6,180.

  2. I am very glad to hear that spending the grant money on much needed improvements to Main Street will be high on the “to do” list. There are many excellent street lighting fixtures available that would enhance the esthetics of the Village by replacing the awful mess of wires and rundown lamps that are currently in place. Most importantly, better street lighting will enable the merchants and business owners to attract more customers into the evening hours. We need to do everything we can to encourage visitors to remain here after sundown to continue their explorations, shopping and dining.

  3. Re: street lighting. There are fabulous, historically-correct lamp poles that would just be amazing on Main Street.

    A few years ago, I brought up a street lighting company, Magniflood, that my old block association used for replacing ugly Colba poles with Bishop Crook lamps. We raised the money, had them installed, and then gifted them to the City of NY. That is the way it works there. Their bollard lighting, casting downward – not glaring outward – lighting, cost a third of those purchased for the dock. When suggested, I was told “we don’t get bids.” Poles would be ideal and easy for Christmas lights and save damage to street trees, too.

    • What a wonderful project– exactly what I’m talking about doing here in Cold Spring. Except instead of raising funds ourselves, which would be difficult, if not impossible in this economy, our local officials should use the grant money that’s been sitting in the treasury for the past few years. After all, that’s precisely what government is supposed to be about, doing for the people what the people cannot do for themselves. Having had my business here for a year, and seeing firsthand how desperately we need new lighting on Main Street to help the merchants, I fail to understand why the Board can’t seem to get the job done in a timely fashion. Is it really that hard to figure out?

      • Just want to point out that lighting is only one aspect of the improvements to Main Street that they are planning to do, and there is a limited budget (even with grant money) to accomplish it all. Safe and ADA-compliant sidewalks are certainly at the top of the list. They described this project quite well in the public meeting I attended last year (can’t remember exactly when the meeting was.) For example, most everyone would love to have the wires buried, but the budget is not there for that and that would entail a much more expensive and disruptive rehabilitation than what is planned. So, when you’re talking about street lighting, remember that the telephone poles will remain on Main Street. Don’t know that they plan to add additional separate street lamp poles as well, and don’t know that it would be a good idea (more street clutter on those narrow sidewalks). I assume whatever they are planning for lighting improvements will be made off of the existing street poles. But I don’t know for sure; just an assumption.

  4. Thank you Mayor Falloon and Trustee Hustis for setting a great example. Others should follow your lead.

  5. I think that new Mayor Falloon and Trustee Hustis deserve a great deal of respect for giving back nearly $5,500.00 to the Village Budget out of their own pockets. A 2.49 percent tax increase – though small – is still an increase. Giving back, even if it’s a miniscule fraction of the overall budget, sets a positive example that should be an inspiration to all of our elected officials. It tells taxpayers that they understand the hard economic times currently effecting the Country, State and Community – and in turn the sacrifices many must make.

    Sadly, the other three Cold Spring Trustees felt that they deserved a pay raise (I imply this because they did not speak against accepting one) and in turn set a negative example for elected officials. Their actions speak more to why many voters are disillusioned with politicians, many of whom are more worried about their stipends then the needs of their constituents.

    Again, if you see Mayor Falloon or Trustee Hustis on Main Street, shout them a big thank you.