Highlights from Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 meetings
By Michael Turton
Residents of Cold Spring could see their electric bills shrink if the Village Board elects to take part in a renewable energy program being promoted to municipalities in the Hudson Valley.
At the board’s Nov. 22 meeting, representatives from Renewable Highlands explained Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a nonprofit project approved by New York State that shops for the best available price for electricity for residents and small businesses.
The village would incur no costs by joining the CCA because the energy supplier pays the administrative costs. A small fee, about a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour, is taken from the savings realized. In the past only large energy users such as industry, big-box stores and hospitals have been able to negotiate better rates.
Under the CCA program, residents would still deal with Central Hudson. The only change in their monthly bills would be a listing of the energy supplier contracted by CCA. Residents and businesses owners could opt out at any time.
Twenty municipalities in Westchester County have joined CCA with 14 opting to purchase all of their electricity from renewable energy sources. According to CCA representatives Michael Rauch and Glen Weinberg, residents there have seen savings of about 17 percent. They estimated that in Putnam County the savings would be closer to 5 to 10 percent because the smaller population has less purchasing power.
Philipstown, Beacon, Fishkill and Wappinger Falls have passed resolutions in support of CCA and Rauch and Weinberg asked the Cold Spring board to do the same. Trustees will consider the matter after reviewing the resolutions. A public hearing is required before the program could be adopted.
In other business …
- Trustees approved an amendment to a 2014 resolution requiring all village boards and committees to produce agendas and minutes. Mayor Dave Merandy described the local law as leaving “no leeway at all.” The amendment, which passed unanimously, added the words “to the extent practicable” to the end of the 2014 resolution, which reads, “The Village’s website shall list all boards and committees, along with their current members and charge, meeting dates, ties and locations along with notices of meetings, agendas and minutes.” The change reflects the language of the state Open Meetings Law.
- Merandy hosted a meeting at Village Hall with stakeholders in the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail project. He said the discussion about shifting the route from Fair Street to Dockside Park was only “moving the problem around,” noting that the trail is “inheriting problems” that must be addressed with or without the trail.
- The Cold Spring Planning Board will act as lead agency for an environmental review of an application to add a food and beverage service at the Cold Spring Apothecary at 75 Main St.
- Trustees approved a reallocation of funds to allow the Tree Advisory Committee to begin a beautification project along Main Street.
- The board approved a recommendation from the planning board to provide a parking waiver for 2 Depot Square, where a three-family residential unit will be reconfigured to add retail space.
- The installation of digital water meters throughout Cold Spring and Nelsonville is back on track after a delay. Residents can make appointments with East National Water by calling 1-800-252-8556 or visiting eastnationalwater.com. The village has paid all installation costs.
From Nov. 8…
- Trustees approved a resolution opposing a proposal before the U.S. Coast Guard that would increase the number of barges permitted to anchor in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston, including the waters off Beacon and Newburgh. Several other river communities have passed similar resolutions.
- Residents are being warned about a telephone scam in which the caller claims to be from Central Hudson and demands immediate payment of a bill.
- The village is discussing its lease agreement with the Cold Spring Boat Club. Merandy noted that if the club begins paying rent there would be tax implications for the village.
- Trustees will begin the budget process earlier than in the past. Village departments will submit proposed budgets by mid-December.
- Town of Philipstown board member Bob Flaherty presented an update, noting the town is ready to seek bids for renovation of the Dahlia House located adjacent to Town Hall; that some 200 parking tickets have been issued along Indian Brook Road near the waterfall; and that, with assistance from state Sen. Sue Serino, the town received a $50,000 grant to replace windows at Town Hall.
- Trustees approved a fee schedule for boats that remain for an extended period at the village dock, such as the Seastreak: $6 or $8 per foot. The fees are waived for nonprofits such as Clearwater.