Public hearing laws revised; village fire district to be discussed
By Michael Turton
After a two-week holiday recess, the Cold Spring Village Board got back to business on Tuesday (Jan. 8).
Trustees approved three revisions to laws aimed at improving public awareness of projects before the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Historic District Review Board. If a project requires a public hearing, the applicant is now required to post a sign provided by the village clerk with the hearing date and project description on the property at least 10 days before the hearing.
Mayor Dave Merandy said leaders from the Cold Spring Fire Co. will attend the board’s Jan. 22 workshop to discuss their interest in establishing a fire district. Merandy noted he has concerns about the idea, adding that a number of improvements are needed at the Main Street firehouse, which is owned by the village.
Michele Smith, executive director of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, told the board that New York State is inviting as many as 30 municipalities to participate in a program to protect water supplies. It would not require a financial contribution, only staff and trustee participation. The possibility of Cold Spring applying to the program will be discussed on Jan. 22.
Trustees approved a recommendation by Larry Burke, officer-in-charge of the Cold Spring Police Department, to hire Ken Baker as a patrol officer. Baker, a 22-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, recently retired as a detective. The board also approved the purchase of police vehicle that should arrive in February.
In Burke’s monthly briefing for the board, he said officers in December answered 52 calls for service and issued 25 parking and 20 traffic tickets. A man was arrested for driving with a suspended license and a woman for disorderly conduct.
Greg Phillips, superintendent of water and waste water, told the trustees that the village will soon lose the services of Bart Clark, a consulting engineer to the village for nearly 25 years. Clark has taken a full-time position in Connecticut but will assist with completion of a number of projects, including the connection to the Catskill Aqueduct needed during repairs to the village reservoir dams. Phillips, who is scheduled to retire in July, said Clark “will be hard to replace.”
Phillips also reported that three incidents caused by December’s heavy rains were reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In two cases, the discharge of solids and effluent from the wastewater treatment plant exceeded acceptable levels. The third involved a sanitary sewer overflow near the corner of Main and West streets.
The Planning Board and Historic District Review Board continue to review a proposal to close the Silver Spoon Cafe at 92 Main St. and to expand Cold Spring Bed & Breakfast. The owner, Hussein Abdelhady, submitted a revised plan on Dec. 27 that reduced the number of rooms on the ground floor from seven to five. The second floor has five rooms available.
Philipstown Board Member Bob Flaherty said that newly appointed board member Judy Farrell will replace him as the town’s liaison to the Cold Spring Village Board. Farrell stopped by briefly to introduce herself at the end of the meeting.