Cold Spring Approves $2.2M Budget

Plus, notes from April 25 and May 2 meetings

By Michael Turton

The Village of Cold Spring Board of Trustees approved three budgets for 2017-18 at its April 25 meeting, including $2,169,550 in allocations to the general fund, which accounts for most village spending.

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Property taxes and the fireman’s service tax will provide $1.6 million, by far the largest source of revenue. The 1.48 percent tax levy increase over 2016-17 falls within the state-imposed 2 percent limit.

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Village water and sewer budgets, which are funded through user fees and don’t affect the levy, were approved at $821,287 and $495,941.

In other business…

  • The board approved a shared services agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation to assist the village during emergencies.
  • A request by Our Lady of Loretto to limit Fair Street traffic to one-way for short periods on April 23, May 5 (Friday), and May 13 (Saturday) was approved. Trustee Lynn Miller cast the only “no” vote, stating that similar accommodations have not been granted for other churches. Fair Street traffic is limited to one-way on Sundays to facilitate parking near the church.
  • A temporary full-time laborer was hired for the highway department.
  • The board approved a request from NBC Peacock Production to film in the village courtroom for a fee of $1,000.

In May 2 business …

  • Tara Caroll asked to purchase the stoop at 69-71 Main St. for Barber and Brew, a new business. The board was divided. Trustee Fran Murphy favored selling the stoop as a means of reducing village liability. Mayor Dave Merandy opposed the sale, in part citing the need to have the Village Code address outdoor dining on stoops. Trustee Steve Voloto commented, “Right now there is no consistency, and we’re trying to create that.” Merandy pointed out that several similar situations along Main Street are being considered and promised a decision on Caroll’s request at the board’s next meeting.
  • The board received a similar request to purchase a 30-by-125-foot strip behind 37 Fair St., the former site of Impellittiere Motors. The building is unoccupied and in disrepair. The 3,750-square-foot property is part of the highway department yard, and trustees plan to visit the site to clarify its boundaries. Trustee Marie Early said a potential buyer, who was not identified, is considering a restaurant.
  • Trustees denied resident Roberto Muller’s request to perform acoustic music on Main Street. In a letter to the board, Muller said he hoped to earn money from passersby. Voloto commented, “It’s not a good idea for Main Street.”
  • A parade will be held on Main Street on July 28 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Junior Fire Academy.
  • Groombridge Games will again sponsor Cold Spring’s Independence Day fireworks, although a contract with Legion Fireworks was postponed pending information on possible rain dates. A barge is being considered as the launch site instead of Dockside Park.
  • The board made revisions to proposed guidelines for photography and video shoots in the village. Fees will range from $100 to $1,500 per day, depending on the scope of the production.
  • The board will now review docking applications, a task previously handled by the Recreation Commission. “The board should have been doing it all along,” Merandy said. A 2011 law, enacted by the Village Board to allow commercial boats to dock, called for the board to grant the permits. A request for the Sloop Clearwater to dock on May 13 and overnight on July 24 was approved.

One thought on “Cold Spring Approves $2.2M Budget

  1. The sale of any village property commonly termed “stoops,” along Main Street, etc., is in fact a sale of a portion of the public right-of-way (used in part as a “roadway” for vehicles, and in part as “sidewalks” for pedestrians and for various, smaller, powered and non-powered conveyances). The purpose of a public right-of-way is to facilitate and allow for the public to move freely, safely and easily and without undue crowding or delay throughout the village (and without trespassing on private property).

    Any reduction in the size of this right-of-way by sale to or encroachment by a private entity impacts and potentially impedes the ability of the public to move about, within, and through the village. Sale to a private entity (generally an adjacent property owner) potentially allows the disposed parcel to be legally fenced or otherwise blocked off indefinitely, as private property, and restricted for private use only (i. e., privatized). In most cases the restriction of access and use naturally would be a prime reason a private entity would want the acquisition of the parcel.

    What is a stoop and why were they created? Presumably for the ease of entering and exiting a building by creating a level surface along a sidewalk with a grade, or to create a step or steps up to a floor built at an elevation above the grade of the sidewalk. The American English word “stoop” apparently is related to the Dutch and Germanic words for “step.”

    This sales process never was a good idea but it’s increasingly and evidently deleterious as a consequence of the growing levels of vehicular and pedestrian traffic compared to years past.

    Finally, and while I’m not a lawyer, it’s not clear to me that the sale of all or part of a public right-of-way is even a legal transaction.