This letter, dated Sept. 18, was sent to Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy and Village Clerk Mary Saari. The authors provided a copy to Philipstown.info.
We are the Cold Spring Waterfront Coalition and write with the fervent hope that you both will continue to advocate for a pleasant and peaceful waterfront experience for all residents of the Village of Cold Spring. In particular, we are seeking your support and assistance regarding the Cold Spring Boat Club.
For eight months a year, a large prime portion of Village-owned waterfront land is transformed into an industrial outdoor storage yard for large boats, rusted pipes, used tires, rusty rims, a growing number of wooden docks and two cranes.
While most members of the Boat Club are required to store their boats off-site during the winter months, more than a small few are allowed (for a sublet fee, and profit, paid to the Boat Club) to use the Village property as their personal storage facility. Storage rights never were within the generous spirit and dictates of their one-dollar-a-year lease with the Village.
All of this is in full view of the residents of West Street, Main Street and New Street and those in the Village who appreciate the peace and beauty of our Village waterfront park.
Beyond the obvious safety concerns associated with unsecured docks stacked in 15-foot piles — it appears that the Village turns a blind eye to the unsightly and irresponsible nature of the Boat Club facility for September, October, November, December, January, February, March and April — approximately eight months of the calendar year.
Additionally, it is environmentally unsafe for the Boat Club to function as a storage facility for boats with gas in their tanks given the proximity to a public park frequented by children and high school students.
The docks are an “attractive nuisance” and belong off-site in a storage yard. We’ve obtained estimates that range from $200 to $400 monthly. Alternately, there is ample safe and secure storage with the Village vehicles behind the River View Restaurant. This additional courtesy from the Village would represent yet another windfall for the Boat Club. The current scenario exists because it is the “easiest” and “cheapest” way for the Boat Club to give the least and take the most.
Three years ago, we below the train tracks endured the flooding of our homes from Hurricane Sandy (one of the “stored” boats drifted and came close to colliding with one of our homes) and we rebuilt. To commemorate this, two of our residents had the West Street lanterns fabricated in New Orleans and donated them to the Village. Now we’re bracing ourselves for the unpleasantness and toxicity of the DEA Coal Tar clean up, in our front and backyards.
You are both now well aware that last Saturday, Sept. 12, the Boat Club had a late-night bonfire on the ground (yet another unconscionable lease violation) close to the boat house with flames climbing six feet high. Among the burning materials (from the boat club building itself) was wood processed with glue which is toxic when burned. More lease violations: alcoholic beverages were clearly onsite, as they were the previous Saturday along with yet another bonfire and loud music.
This time, the police showed up around 11 p.m. After the police left, the “party” resumed until approximately 2 a.m., with members “scooping the loop,” running stop signs and belligerently honking their horns.
These are just a few of the many, many asinine, dangerous and untenable occurrences over many years. After almost nine years, the Boat Club is in denial that we are a residential neighborhood and deeply ensconced community. They seemingly live in the past and mean-spiritedly long for the days when our neighborhood was a lumber yard.
Bottom line: The Village of Cold Spring owns the property currently utilized for the sole purpose of a “members-only” club. Beyond the obviously awkward nature of this relationship during an unprecedented time of open government and Village resources not being restricted to a small few, we expect the Village to protect the waterfront for everyone. We pay Village taxes and are happy to contribute to the extension of the waterfront park.
We respectfully and vehemently urge you to eliminate all current and future legal exposure to the Village and have the Boat Club remove all docks, cranes, etc. now and cancel the Boat Club lease.
We love Cold Spring and thank you in advance for your swift action.
Cold Spring Waterfront Coalition
Tom & Rachel Kelly
Tom Todoroff & Emily Moulton
Abbey & Claire Greenlaw
Jean Pierre & Rita Seibel
Sean Tortora & Jennifer O’Toole
Bob & Heather Palumberi