Mayor Hopes Coal Tar Can Be Barged

Contracts signed for major waste water treatment plant upgrade

By Michael Turton

At the Tuesday (Feb. 24) meeting of the Village Board, Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon reported that interim Village Attorney Bill Florence is working with the lawyer for New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to draft a letter of agreement clarifying issues surrounding the removal of toxic coal tar from the property occupied by the Cold Spring Boat Club.

Design work for the project is scheduled to be complete in March with remediation set to begin next fall. The Boat Club will be required to raze its building as part of the cleanup.

Toxic coal tar deposits from a 19th century manufactured gas plant are still present beneath the Cold Spring Boat Club (file photo)

Toxic coal tar deposits from a 19th century manufactured gas plant are still present beneath the Cold Spring Boat Club (file photo)

Resident Karen Dunn, who lives in the area of the Boat Club, raised a number of questions about the remediation. Dunn asked how the contaminated material will be removed; queried the status of the railroad bridge and inquired whether or not the Boat Club site would be tented during excavation. Falloon responded that the site will be tented, a step DEC considers necessary to ensure that contaminants are kept onsite during the cleanup.

He also said that the state agency won’t dictate how excavated material is to be removed. Contractors will have the option to bid on the most effective removal method, he said. Falloon commented that there are only three options for removing the contaminated material — truck, boat or rail. Trustee Michael Bowman said that use of rail cars is not likely, a method that could require construction of a costly spur line.

The status of the bridge over the railroad has been discussed in the past, including the possibility that trucks would be limited to half loads in order to not exceed the structure’s carrying capacity. Dunn underlined the importance of the bridge, pointing out that for residents below the railroad tracks, it is their only egress. She added that given the safety issues that Metro-North has faced lately, it might be a good time to encourage the railroad to ensure that the bridge is safe.

Falloon expressed his hope that the material will be removed via barge, an approach that would greatly reduce the role of the bridge during the project.

Funding, contract approvals

Trustees passed two resolutions that will facilitate improvements to deteriorating sewer lines on Fair, Market, Fish and Northern Streets, first approving the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) Negative Declaration then immediately approving issuance of a bond for the $297,000 project. The SEQRA resolution confirms that the project will have no adverse impact on the environment.

Trustees also authorized Falloon to sign two contracts initiating major improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The first contract, with Spectaserv Inc. of South Kearny, New Jersey, totals $672,300. The second, with Fanshawe Inc of Nanuet, New York, is for $234,000. Bonding for the project to upgrade the aeration and electrical systems at the plant has already been approved.

Drainage, Butterfield, phone lines

The Intermunicipal agreement with Putnam County for drainage improvements in the area of Craigside Drive and Morris Ave (Route 9D) was reviewed and referred to Florence for final revisions to the wording of the authorizing resolution. Putnam County will carry out the $25,000 project. In exchange, the Village of Cold Spring has agreed to do snow plowing at the Putnam County Sheriff’s depot in Nelsonville and at the American Legion Post on Cedar Street for a period of five years.

Trustees received correspondence from attorney Anna Georgiou indicating that the Planning Board is referring the site plan and preliminary subdivision applications for the Butterfield redevelopment project to the Village Board for comment. A public hearing on Butterfield is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4.

Village resident Fran Murphy has been doing volunteer work at the Village Hall in recent months. One of her assignments has been to assess the cost effectiveness of the telephone system, which up until now has been provided through Verizon. Murphy, who is running for a seat on the Village Board in the March election, compared services offered by Verizon and Cornerstone. The latter provider is used by the Town of Philipstown, Village of Wappingers Falls and other area municipalities.

Murphy found that by switching to Cornerstone the village would save about $460 per month, and she told trustees they would “probably save close to $35,000 (over) five years.” A call to Philipstown Town Clerk Tina Merando confirmed satisfaction with Cornerstone’s service. Murphy also said that a local consultant had confirmed that switching providers and going to a combination of copper and digital phone lines would not result in any decline in the quality of the system, with the copper lines acting as a backup in the event the digital system failed.

One thought on “Mayor Hopes Coal Tar Can Be Barged

  1. Well, let’s start a new discussion. The bridge over the railway has, like everything else, been discussed and tabled for far too long. Our parking lot must not generate enough money for MTA to do any serious consideration for the outdated bridge. What will it take? I am not sure if anyone else even looks at the taxes we pay to MTA over and over again but, they have the money. It is guaranteed. Tax, tax and more tax.