Water meters require costly upgrade
By Michael Turton
Parking meters are coming to Cold Spring — well, one parking meter, at least. At its Jan. 5 meeting, the Cold Spring Village Board approved a lease with Parkeon, a firm that specializes in parking management. The three-year, $11,723 lease includes installation of a pay station in the municipal parking lot on Fair Street, a move endorsed by the parking committee chaired by former mayor Anthony Phillips.
The solar-powered station, which is expected to be operational by spring and will be owned by the village after the lease is paid, will accept cash and credit cards. Rates have not yet been determined. Trustee Cathryn Fadde said that visitors who extend their stay will be able to make additional payments with a smart phone.
A number of related issues, including a recommendation by the parking committee that the village again hire an enforcement officer as it has in the past, will be discussed at a board workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Water meters going cellular
Village water meters are in need of an upgrade, which will carry a significant price tag. The meters measure the amount of water used in residences and businesses in Cold Spring, Nelsonville and a small number of homes outside the villages. Meters are read and billing issued on a quarterly basis.
Superintendent of Water and Sewer Greg Phillips said the existing meters, installed in 1997 and no longer in production, are near the end of their practical life. He said he has been using spare parts to keep them operative for the past few years.
Tom Sprague of Badger Meters described for the Village Board the cellular technology used in the latest generation of meters, which would enable water department staff, residents and businesses to monitor use on a daily basis. Currently leaks and other situations that waste water, sometimes in very large amounts, can go undetected for weeks.
Phillips said that a switch to the cellular meters would also save him and his staff a great deal of time because the new meters would be monitored remotely rather than through visits to each meter. Cold Spring’s water system includes close to 900 meters that would need to be replaced at a cost of $200 each, or about $180,000. Sprague estimated that installation would cost $75 to $100 per meter, or an additional $67,500 to $90,000. Phillips said he would prepare a report for trustees recommending that action be taken soon in order to include the cost of the meters as part of bond anticipation notes to be used to finance other water-related projects planned for 2016.
In other business…
Representatives of O’Brien and Gere Engineering outlined the firm’s suggested approach for repairing the upper dam at the reservoir on Lake Surprise Road. Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants outlined their strategy several weeks ago. Greg Phillips and Bart Clark, a consultant with Environmental Associates Engineering, will soon recommend which of the two firms should be awarded the engineering contract for the dam repairs. Tectonic has worked on the dams in the past. O’Brien and Gere, established in 1945, focuses on dam-related projects.
- Fourteen area residents will be sent registered letters notifying them their water will be shut off if they fail to pay outstanding water bills. The charges cannot be added to the residents’ tax bills because they live outside Cold Spring. Most of the unpaid bills range between $300 and $1,400, although one resident owes $7,419 for four properties. Mayor Dave Merandy said he would also pursue other remedies with the village attorney.
- After several previous discussions, the board passed a resolution to amend Chapter 108-21 of the Village Code, which outlines requirements and timing for the clearing of sidewalks after snowstorms.
- The trustees voted to support a Planning Board recommendation to grant a parking waiver to the owners of the new bakery and cafe being established at 15 Main St. Because the parking space required in the Village Code is not available, the owners will instead pay a fee of $1,000 in lieu of providing four parking spaces, a measure that has been used a number of times in the past.
- Board members voted to have the Planning Board act as lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review as part of the Planning Board’s review of an application to establish Barber & Brew at 69 Main St.
- Trustee Fran Murphy reported that she is seeking ways to remind village residents, business owners and commuters that depositing commercial or residential trash in Main Street garbage cans, a practice she said happens too often, is a violation under the Village Code and subject to fines.