Trustees support Indian Point evac resolution, mayor votes ‘no’
By Michael Turton
State Sen. Terry Gipson dropped by the Cold Spring Village Board at its May 14 meeting, mainly to ask the question, “How can we help you?” Gipson is currently making the rounds to all village and town boards in his constituency, District 41, which includes most of Putnam and Dutchess counties. While primarily a courtesy call, it seems such visits can yield important information.
Gipson said that at a recent meeting in Putnam Valley, members of the Town Board told him they have been trying to find a way to construct an overpass at Pudding Street and the Taconic State Parkway. “It’s how we found out about it,” Gipson said, adding that funding has now been put in place to get the project started.
He also highlighted a May 15 press conference in Poughkeepsie regarding the “Good Neighbor Bill” currently before the state Legislature. The bill would require plaintiffs in mortgage foreclosures to properly maintain the subject properties. The Cold Spring Village Board had previously passed a resolution supporting the proposed legislation.
In response to a question from Trustee Stephanie Hawkins, Gipson said he has not received a great deal of feedback from riverfront communities regarding damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last year. He said funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and he encouraged the village to provide him with detailed information. Gipson said that what he hears most from constituents is the need for more jobs.
Board supports Indian Point resolution
By a 4-to-1 roll-call vote, trustees supported a resolution brought forward by Cold Spring resident Roberto Muller regarding public health and safety concerns related to the Indian Point nuclear power facility. Mayor Ralph Falloon cast the lone “no” vote, saying that he opposed the part of the resolution calling for an extension of the Emergency Evacuation Zone from 10 miles to 50 miles. “Because we are in the 10-mile radius, we will be the first to go. Extending (evacuation) to 50 miles puts 40 miles of people in the way of our residents. I don’t want 40 miles of people in the way,” he said.
“I think there is a greater moral imperative,” Trustee Matt Francisco responded. “As trustees we don’t waive our (responsibility) to protect others.”
Muller highlighted problems experienced at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant after the March 2011 tsunami that severely damaged the facility. There, radioactive “hot spots” were found even beyond the mandatory evacuation zone. Commenting on the Indian Point plant he said, “Whether or not the plant is operating is beside the point. The (spent nuclear) rods are there.” The resolution calls for the rods to be moved from the current cooling pools and put into hardened dry cask storage — a system that Muller and the resolution describe as more secure.
Contributions to Cold Spring’s 2013 Community Day, to be held in early July, were discussed. The Putnam County News and Recorder has agreed to sponsor the event’s annual fireworks display for the next three years at a total cost of about $30,000. Falloon said that he had received the contract earlier in the day and will be meeting with Publisher Elizabeth Ailes soon to discuss details.
Hawkins asked whether or not trustees should discuss the contribution given the large sum of money involved. “The larger issue is whether there are any restrictions or conditions,” Francisco offered. “It’s a matter of forwarding (to trustees) cost information more than anything else,” said Trustee Bruce Campbell, who is organizing Community Day.
Hawkins also said that Philipstown.info Publisher Gordon Stewart has offered to sponsor live music at the event, and she asked trustees if they were supportive. Campbell responded that nothing definite had been received from Philipstown.info and that nothing had been approved but that the sponsorship was “in the works.” He said he would bring a detailed report regarding the fireworks and music to the next workshop. Trustee Charles Hustis, Francisco and Hawkins spoke in favor of the Philipstown.info sponsorship. Overall the Village Board’s process for dealing with contributions to community events seemed unclear.
Waterfront plan delayed
A disappointed Michael Armstrong, chair of the Special Board for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, announced as part of his report that the New York Department of State will not consider Cold Spring’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan until the village has drafted the zoning changes necessary to implement the plan. Armstrong said that the Special Board had hoped that the zoning changes could be identified as a project to be completed after the LWRP was adopted; however, “State authorities will not accept that approach,” Armstrong said. He estimates that drafting the zoning and finishing the LWRP will take three years.
Main Street and main dock
Discussion regarding the Main Street project’s compliance with the Village Comprehensive Plan was tabled. The village received comments from Ted Fink, a consultant with Rhinebeck-based Green Plan Inc., which assisted the village in formulating the plan, but are awaiting comments from CHA, the company undertaking the Main Street works.
Saturday, Sept. 7, will be a busy day on the Cold Spring dock. The River Rose will dock at 3 p.m. and will offer two cruises through 9 p.m. Campbell said that the Bannerman’s Island boat will also dock at Cold Spring the same day. He said that the two captains will need to coordinate their visits but that because the boats will use different sections of the dock, there should be no conflict.