This letter, addressed to Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy and the Village Board, was shared with Philipstown.info by its author.
I would hope the actions of a few on Saturday evening, Sept. 12 do not obscure the real contributions to the community that the Boat Club has made over the years.
Cold Spring is a river community where participation in the rich life of the Hudson involves a lot more than a nice view from your front window. Providing a gateway to the river is a vital part of our heritage. Every year the Boat Club brings approximately 4,000 visitors to the village who come by boat — no parking spaces required. These visitors are free-spending, and are looking to enjoy all the benefits of Cold Spring — buying lunch, dinner, ice cream, and shopping in our stores.
For those who live in our village, the Club is dedicated to providing affordable and local access to the river by way of power and sail boats. In fact, use of the Club ramp is free with ID to all village residents, and for a modest fee for everyone else. For those boaters who desire a slip or mooring, we have a fairly priced membership for them, and in keeping with our desire to provide these benefits to “locals,” the Club automatically admits to membership Cold Spring Village residents.
Additionally, the Boat Club provides an important component of safety on the river, giving free slips to the Putnam County Sheriffs’ Department and the Cold Spring Fire Department. We have been the hub of many rescue operations on the river.
Our Club also coordinates with local organizations to share our space. Throughout the year, we offer our facilities for events held by local groups such as the garden club, seniors and the Antique Boat Club. We provide a seasonal space for the Building Bridges Building Boats crafts, and have done so for the Bannermans’ Island work boat as needed.
Everyone has heard stories about people who buy homes near airports and then want to restrict or eliminate the activities of the airport. Some of that seems to be going on here. In fact, it is interesting to note that part of the riverfront condominiums’ original prospectus promoted proximity of the Boat Club as a selling point. Awareness of the Club’s existence was certainly part of any decision to move into the neighborhood.
By pointing this out, we do not mean to say that our neighbors don’t have some legitimate complaints. As a Club that counts many Village residents as members, we certainly want to be good neighbors and to participate in maintaining the overall quality of our riverfront. Continuing our existing discussions with our neighbors would be a more productive way to address these concerns.
Cold Spring Boat Club