Three Thousand Hikers Storm Breakneck

Public workshop scheduled for Fjord Trail design

By Michael Turton

Breakneck Ridge, the rocky peak between Cold Spring and Beacon, continues to draw record crowds. At the June 14 meeting of the village board Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy reported that officials with New York State Parks indicated that 3,000 hikers made the trek up Breakneck on Memorial Day weekend.

A workshop at The Chalet on Route 9D on Monday, June 27 will seek public comment on the “Breakneck Connector” portion of the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail now being planned. The connector is a half-mile segment between the Breakneck trail head and the Metro North “whistle stop” platform just north of the tunnel.  The 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. session will present three design options.

Town of Philipstown board member Bob Flaherty reported that second bids will be requested for the expansion of the Washburn parking lot after initial submissions came in 20 to 25 percent over budget. The town of Philipstown is acting as lead agency for expansion of the lot opposite Little Stony Point at Cold Spring’s northern boundary. The project is part of the Fjord Trail development.

Butterfield nears formal approval

Merandy thanked members of the village planning board for their recent efforts in reviewing the application for a change of use submitted by developer Paul Guillaro as part of the Butterfield project. The planning board and the developer reached a tentative agreement on June 10 regarding changes to the site plan, mainly parking and signage issues. The path to that agreement was marked by a number of long and contentious planning board meetings.

In his remarks the mayor put the responsibility for delays in the process on shoulders of Guillaro and his attorney Steven Barshov who he said had “continually fought the idea of even reviewing the application.” The planning board, he said, had done everything it could to keep the process moving ahead, including scheduling an unusual Friday evening meeting, and that once board members were able to actually work on the application an agreement was readily reached.

The mayor was especially critical of the Putnam County News & Recorder over reports that he said characterized him and planning board chair Matt Francisco as being against the Butterfield project. Merandy said the reports were unfounded, “but the PCNR keeps writing that and writing that and I guess if you keep writing it people start believing it …. it’s basically a bold lie.”

Merandy said formal approval of the revised site plan is contingent upon the Putnam County Legislature approving details regarding busing the county will provide in conjunction with the senior citizen center being developed at Butterfield. He added that approval is also dependent upon the planning board receiving necessary information from the developer and the county by June 16 so that the board can give its formal approval at its June 23 meeting.

In other business …

  • Trustees approved the additions of Doug Price to the parking committee and Aaron Wolfe to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
  • (Jimmy) Hussein Abdelhady, owner of The Silver Spoon, has submitted a request to purchase a small piece of property in front of the restaurant. The narrow strip of real estate is owned by the village. In a letter to the board, attorney William Florence pointed out that a previous administration had agreed to the sale but the transaction was never completed.
  • The 2015 water quality report is being mailed to all households and will also be available on the village website and at village hall. Greg Phillips, the superintendent of Water and Sewer, Phillips also reported that a 40,000 gallon per day leak in a private service line was recently repaired and that a second leak of  50,000 gallons a day is also being traced.
  • Excavation of toxic coal tar is now complete at the Cold Spring Boat Club site. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) estimates that “substantial completion” of the project will achieved by July 8.
  • Resident Kathleen Foley voiced concern regarding a LED street light that was installed at the corner of Main Street and Locust Ridge. Foley said the light makes it look “as if  we’re lighting a movie set” and is “very very bright.” She said that at night the light blinds drivers as they approach Main Street and creates a “very tremendous drop off to black beyond its very focused column of light.”
  • A Jaguar television commercial will be shot on lower Main Street on June 29.
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