Recreation Commission meets with Village Board
By Michael Turton
Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy has strongly criticized the Putnam County News and Recorder over a recent article that referred to “a new war” and a “blowup” between the village and Butterfield developer Paul Guillaro. Merandy’s comments came near the end of the village board’s Aug 2 workshop. The village is in the process of determining fees to be charged for the Butterfield redevelopment project’s connection to the village sewer and water systems.
In remarks lasting more than 10 minutes Merandy said, “There was no blowup and there is no war…. The only war being waged is between the PCNR and fact.”
The mayor also commented that the developer had made a number of changes to the approved site plan. “Greg Phillips and our engineer Bart Clark have to review those plans and that takes time,” he said. “If the project has been delayed it is because of changes made by the developer and not the village.” Later he added, “The intent is to act on behalf of our constituents and ensure that the project is built as approved.”
The July 27 article detailed little in the way of conflict other than to mention Guillaro’s frustration that a discussion with Cold Spring’s Superintendent of Water and Sewer Greg Phillips regarding Butterfield was removed from the July 26 village board agenda.
The article quotes the developer as saying, “It is a sad day for the village when it retaliates by pulling Butterfield from the Village Board Agenda,” but does not explain what the village was allegedly retaliating against. The piece also pointed out that Guillaro’s attorney had filed a Freedom of Information (FOIL) request with the village, requesting a number of documents.
Merandy acknowledged the FOIL request and said that the report by Phillips was tabled on the advice of village attorney John Furst pending further discussions between Phillips and Guillaro. “Mr. Guillaro was not on the agenda and was not to appear before the board,” he said.
The article also indicated that Guillaro feels the hookup fees were determined very recently and are not part of the village code, although he is not quoted nor does the reporter indicate how he came to that conclusion. The current village code does not address projects as large as Butterfield.
“This is the first large-scale project in the village,” Merandy said. “Greg Phillips is acting responsibly in representing the best interests of the village. At the same time we are trying to act fairly towards the developer” regarding fees.
Merandy challenged PCNR editor Doug Cunningham, who was covering the meeting, to explain PCNR’s method of reporting, referring to it as “really crazy” while adding that “stirring the crap” is the paper’s main interest.
“You just want to make it divisive,” Merandy said. The mayor asked Cunningham to comment a number of times but the editor declined. “You won’t comment now but your paper will be riddled with comments tomorrow,” Merandy said before adjourning the meeting.
There was no mention of Merandy’s comments in an article written by Cunningham in the online edition of the PCNR on Aug 3. However, the meeting was videotaped by the PCNR and has been posted on the paper’s website.
In other business …
- Five members of the seven-member Recreation Commission attended the workshop and discussed a wide range of issues that included fees charged for the use of Cold Spring dock and parks, maintenance, vandalism at public restrooms, utility costs, user application procedures and cooperation with the Haldane Central School District.
- Anne Impellizzeri outlined plans for the unique construction of the new home she is building at 15 High Street. The house arrived on Aug 3 in the form of four modules loaded on flat-bed trucks. Assembly using a large crane was to be completed by week’s end. Impellizzeri’s original home was destroyed by fire in July 2014.
- Deputy Mayor Marie Early detailed steps being taken to improve pedestrian safety near the Haldane campus, including a total of four crosswalks added or improved in the areas of Mountain Ave., Locust Ridge and Craigside Drive.
- Early also reported that gross revenues from the new municipal parking station on Fair St. have totaled $6,006 through its first two months of operation. She said that the average stay has been three hours.
- Trustees declined a resident’s request for the village to assist with cost of repairing a private water line on Parsonage St. Residents are responsible for maintaining water lines that run from the house to the village water main at the street. The Parsonage St. repair could cost as much as $9,500.
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