Water bills soon can be paid by credit card
By Michael Turton
Four mayors and more than 10 years after the process began, the Cold Spring Village Board authorized Mayor Dave Merandy to sign the contract for the Main Street Project at its April 12 meeting, awarding the work to Con-Tech Construction Technology, a company based in Yorktown Heights.
The company’s bid of $516,500 was the lowest of seven proposals.
“We’re very, very close to shovels in the ground,” said Deputy Mayor Marie Early, adding that once village officials meet with the contractor, a public meeting will be held to outline scheduling and construction details.
The work is expected to take five to six months and should be complete by October, Early said. The project will repair the worst sections of Cold Spring’s badly deteriorated Main Street sidewalks and curbs and will also add Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps. Improvements will also be made on Furnace Street, including paving, new sidewalks and improved drainage.
Cost of policing
The April 12 meeting also served as a public hearing on the tentative village budget for 2016-17, which features general-fund spending of $2.8 million. Village taxes collected will total $1,519,854, an amount within the state-imposed tax cap. Village Accountant Ellen Mageean noted the tax rate will actually decline by 0.74 percent due to an increase in the Fireman’s Service Award next year. Trustees will vote on the budget at their Tuesday, April 26, meeting.
Resident Michael Armstrong read a prepared statement regarding the budget and the process used to draft it, urging trustees to take into account the 2012 Comprehensive Plan.
“The village urgently needs to have a conversation about where it stands in meeting its goals and objectives,” he said. Armstrong also called for long-term capital planning and stressed the need to re-examine the cost of police services. “The county, state and Metro-North all provide police services to the village, and yet the village still proposes to dedicate $1 in every four of its property-tax revenue to continue … another layer of 24/7 protection — one that none of our neighbors in Nelsonville, Garrison or Philipstown seem to miss.”
In other business….
- Village residents will soon be able to use a credit card to pay water and sewer bills. The village will contract with InvoiceCloud to provide the service. Early said the system should be in place in time for the July water bills.
- The board adopted a much-discussed new law authorizing metered parking at the municipal parking lot on Fair Street.
- Trustee Fran Murphy reported that a request has been sent to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for funding assistance under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act for further repairs to Cold Spring streets and the Lunn Terrace bridge that spans the Metro-North tracks. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” she said.
- Big Belly is back. Newly elected trustee Lynn Miller is re-examining the potential benefits of using the solar-powered trash compactors in high use areas of the village. The computerized system can also compact recyclables. Big Bellies have been discussed at length in the past as a means of reducing the cost of garbage pickup by village employees during the tourist season.
- Merandy and Trustee Steve Voloto met recently with representatives of New York State Parks regarding the village taking over management of Dockside Park. Merandy said the meeting helped clarify that the village “can make money” at the site without handing all revenues over to the state. He also said the state is not opposed to buildings being constructed as long as development is “within the spirit of state parks.” The mayor said that a workshop will be held on the future of Dockside and that the village will deal with the issue this year. “It’s an incredible piece of property,” he said.
- The mayor also reported that the village will not have to provide funding for the shoreline stabilization project being planned for Dockside.
- Trustees turned down a request from Green Mountain Energy to set up a sales table on Main Street on Wednesdays. In denying the request trustees cited the disruption that will be caused by the upcoming Main Street Project. They also pointed to problems in the past when some merchants have set up sales tables that encroached onto Main Street sidewalks beyond the three-foot limit allowed in the village code.