Sometime after I moved to Cold Spring Village (which was about two years ago) I went to a public meeting to hear about the Butterfield project. It all sounded like a good plan and we were asked to give our input. I learned that this project would possibly house a senior/community center, as well as our post office, village and county offices, senior housing, etc., which we desperately needed for our community and beyond.
After a while, I began to learn there was a lot of controversy about this project, which seemed to hold up progress. This seemed to involve a lot of anger and bitterness, which I didn’t understand. It really saddened me, especially because I live across the street from the Butterfield project site. Some of us senior citizens wanted to hear what the county officials had to say about supporting a senior center at the Butterfield site and we wanted them to hear what we needed. We are concerned about village, town, and county officials making decisions that concern us without our having any say in the matter. The result was amazing! The county officials responded. They came and held meetings here in Cold Spring, with the result that they listened and started to really be supportive of the proposed Butterfield project!
So, after checking with county officials, we started to try to find out where things stood in Cold Spring regarding the project. The problem holding things up appeared to be the need for a zoning change for the Butterfield site in order to get “the ball rolling,” which the Village Board would have to vote on. However, we found out that Butterfield project was with the Cold Spring Planning Board, where they were conducting a review, including a report (a binder 8” thick), which investigated and determined if the proposed Butterfield project was appropriate for the site.
We started to attend Planning Board meetings to keep trying to understand the review, which would help the Butterfield approval process along. We were very impressed at how committed and diligent the board members were going through the report with a “fine tooth comb.” Also we noted how well they conducted business in such an orderly and respectful manner. The Planning Board’s report and suggestions will now go to the Village Board for approval.
We were able to make some good connections with the county. They made us feel welcomed, as did the Cold Spring Planning Board. However what we realized is that we have not felt comfortable reaching to our own Village Board.
We have attended meetings, discussions, presentations and hearings for a long time now. Finally it looks as if the Butterfield project will be built. I ask the village trustees to do their part and pass the B4a Zoning Change for this to happen. Seniors, as well as all village taxpayers and voters, need and deserve access to the services and community resources this project will provide.
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