Highlights from meetings of Dec. 6 and Dec. 13
By Michael Turton
Only two elements of the Cold Spring Main Street Project are yet to be completed, Deputy Mayor Marie Early reported at the Dec. 6 meeting of the Village Board: planting trees in the spring and lighting improvements that remain unresolved.
The lighting upgrades were delayed when Central Hudson declined to install “area lighting,” which is mounted low on poles and designed to illuminate sidewalks, after residents and businesses in other communities complained that it was too bright.
The utility is developing a less-harsh LED light that may be used to replace existing lights on Main Street and be added to unlit polls. Early said that a prototype could be installed as early as January.
In other business …
- The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation confirmed it will provide funding for the Market Street and Fair Street sewer rehabilitation projects. Bids for the $875,000 project can be submitted until 2 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Village Hall.
- The trustees held an executive session to discuss the lease between the village and Cold Spring Boat Club. No information has been made public regarding the negotiations, but Mayor Dave Merandy said club may begin to pay rent for use of the property it has occupied since 1955. He said charging rent may not be as lucrative for the Village as first believed because a portion of the revenue would be lost to taxes. Earlier this year the club vacated the site during the remediation of toxic coal tar by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The club building was razed and it is not known how or if the structure will be replaced.
From Dec. 13 …
Samantha Lutzer, owner of The Pantry in Philipstown, and Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman, owner of Cold Spring Apothecary, asked trustees about the fee for a parking waiver for 12 spaces for 75 Main Street, where they share the ground floor. The fee for the waiver is $3,000, which the owners said came as a surprise. (Business owners who cannot meet Village code requirements to provide sufficient parking pay a fee of $250 per space.) Lutzer and Dugliss-Wesselman contended that based on their interactions with Building Inspector Bill Bujarski, including information he provided two years ago, the fee should be much less.
When Merandy suggested tabling the issue, a visibly frustrated Lutzer asked to pay the waiver on the spot to move the process forward. The board approved the waiver but Merandy said that he would review the fee with Bujarski.
Lutzer, who practiced law for 15 years, complained that the application process was time-consuming and confusing. She said that a previous attempt by The Pantry to open a coffee bar on lower Main Street in partnership with Beacon-based Ella’s Bellas had been abandoned due to difficulties in dealing with the building department and planning board.
In other business …
- Village resident Kathleen Foley expressed concern that Putnam County legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, who represents Cold Spring, has made only one local presentation, at the American Legion, regarding plans for the proposed senior citizens center at Butterfield. Foley said that she and other residents have written to Scuccimarra asking for sessions at the Philipstown Recreation Center and at Chestnut Ridge. “We also asked that a public session be held to explain the plans and budgeting for the project and how they have been ‘scaled back’ as reported,” Foley said in an email to The Current. She said Scuccimarra has not responded. Trustee Steve Voloto added that he has contacted Scuccimarra twice with a similar request and that the legislator has not replied. Merandy said the board would follow up.
- Greg Philips, the superintendent of water and wastewater, reported that installation of new water meters in homes and businesses in Cold Spring and Nelsonville began Nov. 29 and that 140 of 900 meters are in place. He also reported that Tectonic Engineering has begun field assessment and data collection as part of the project to repair Cold Spring’s upper and lower dams at the reservoirs on Lake Surprise Road.
- Trustees approved the appointment of Elizabeth Bengal and Bonny Carmicino to the Code Update Committee.
- The board voted to support the Little Stony Point Citizens Association’s application for a grant from New York State Parks for the construction of a volunteer building and shed at the park.
- Highway foreman Chris Hyatt submitted reports for the months of October and November, during which crews collected 108.7 tons of garbage and 29.7 tons of recyclable materials and decorated Main Street for the holidays.
- Officer-in-Charge George Kane reported that in November the Cold Spring Police Department responded to 63 calls. Two arrests were made, both for criminal contempt. Officers also issued 63 parking tickets. Kane reminded residents to call 845-747-SNOW (7669) to determine if street parking is prohibited due to snowfall or predictions of a winter storm.
Tree Advisory Board
On Dec. 15, members of the Tree Advisory Board and the Highway Department attended a half-day workshop entitled “Managing Street Trees: What You Should Know For Success” at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The workshop was a joint initiative of Cornell University Cooperative Extension and the Westchester County Department of Planning and Soil and Water Conservation District.