But estimates nearly double what was budgeted

By Michael Turton

The good news is that Cold Spring’s Tree Advisory Board is keeping close tabs on the health and well-being of the more than 400 village-owned trees that line the streets. The less-than-good news is that, like everything else, their care comes at a cost.

At the July 5 meeting of the village board, advisory board members Kory Riesterer and Charles Day presented a report that recommended the removal or pruning of five trees that are dying or have dead limbs.

Dead branches on this maple tree on Garden Street present a hazard. (Photo by M. Turton) 
Dead branches on this maple tree on Garden Street present a hazard. (Photo by M. Turton)

The village budget includes $4,000 for tree removal, maintenance and replacement. The estimated cost of the work is $7,000 based on quotes from several tree-service companies.

The budget may be the lesser of two issues. “Once you identify liability and don’t do anything about it…,” Mayor Dave Merandy said, his voice trailing off. “We have to find the money somewhere.”

Merandy said he will check with Central Hudson for assistance. The utility provides pruning when its power lines are involved. Trustee Steve Voloto will inspect the trees to help determine priorities.

Jennifer Zwarich chairs the Tree Advisory Board. The other members are Tony Bardes and Gordon Robertson.

In other business …

  • A joint meeting of the Recreation Commission and the village board planned for July 5 was postponed. Merandy said the purpose of the session, which will be rescheduled, is to clarify the commission’s role, responsibilities and priorities, such as the fees for boats tying up to the village dock and use of village parks.
  • Anne Dinio, business manager for the Haldane Central School District, will fill in as village accountant until Michelle Ascolillo returns from maternity leave. The board approved hiring Dinio for $45 per hour.
  • The village continues to receive requests to film in Cold Spring. The latest is from William Biavati and Ashley Bassett, both students who live in the village. The shoot will produce a 30-second commercial and involve a crew of seven.
  • Voloto reported that a number of residents expressed concern to him about the presence of police officers at the Cold Spring Independent Day celebrations on July 3 armed with automatic rifles and wearing body armor. Merandy said the officers were from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Trustee Fran Murphy noted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now requires such a presence at large public gatherings. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Voloto commented. Merandy said he would get more information.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Turton, who has been a reporter for The Current since its founding in 2010, moved to Philipstown from his native Ontario in 1998. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Cold Spring government, features