Mayor: ‘Go to Source’ with Water Concerns

Cold Spring plans to flush hydrants next week

By Michael Turton

Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy urged residents to “go to the source” with concerns over recent discoloration of village drinking water, rather than relying on Facebook discussions. He made the comments at the May 14 meeting of the Village Board.

Merandy advised residents to call the village office or Superintendent of Water and Waste Water Greg Phillips, pointing out that Phillips has managed the system for 25 years and has dealt with discoloration “probably twice a year” throughout that time.

“When we’ve had so much rain, there’s really nothing much you can do,” Merandy said.

The before and after of a hydrant’s flow during a flush. (Village of Cold Spring)

Philips agreed. “It’s a little aggravating” to learn of complaints only through social media, he said. “People should call us. We have done sampling on-site when people are concerned.” He added that rust, inherent in the century-old water system, is a big part of the problem.

An overnight hydrant flush scheduled for May 19 to 24 should take care of much of the discoloration Phillips said, though he cautioned, “there is always some residual discoloration” when that procedure is undertaken. (The village says residents may notice periods of little or no water between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. and discoloration each morning. It advises to run the cold water until clear.)

“If someone out there has a miracle way of cleaning pipes that are 100 years old, let us know,” Merandy added.

The hydrant flush uses the velocity of the water to scour the lining of the mains to remove loose particulate, film or sediment that has built up since the last flush.

In other business …

  • The Planning Board held a public hearing on May 9 as part of its consideration of an application by Laura Bergman to convert the commercial space at 15 Main St. to a cafe and tourist home with a single rental room. In his report, Planning Board Chair Matt Francisco said the application was supported at the hearing by one neighbor and by another resident through correspondence. Bergman has approached the Village Board regarding purchase of a small strip of village-owned land at the front of the property.
    15 Main St

    The owner of 15 Main St. in Cold Spring hopes to convert the building into a cafe and one-room tourist home. (Photo by M. Turton)

  • In his monthly report, Phillips told the trustees that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection is “remaining steadfast” on measures it wants the village to undertake in preparation for tapping into the Catskill Aqueduct during repairs to the village reservoir dams. Phillips said the DEP requirements would involve “significant expense” and advised the board to seek legal counsel before deciding whether to accept what he called the agency’s “excessive” demands.
  • The Cold Spring Fire Co. will again provide services to the Village of Nelsonville. As part of the one-year agreement, which begins May 31, Nelsonville will pay the village $42,140.
  • The building department issued 11 permits in April, including those for buildings 4 and 6 at the Butterfield redevelopment project and for 124 Main St., formerly the Silver Spoon Restaurant, which is being converted to a nine-room hotel.
  • Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke reported that the Cold Spring Police Department responded to 67 calls for service in April. Officers issued 66 parking and 55 traffic tickets, of which 23 were for disobeying a traffic-control device and 18 for speeding. One person was arrested for driving while his license was suspended.
  • The Cold Spring Fire Co. answered 12 calls in April, said Chief Josh DiNardo, who also reported that CSFC receives only four or five false alarms per year, mainly due to malfunctioning alrams. The trustees recently rejected a call from a Putnam County legislator for a countywide series of fines for false alarms because the village code already addresses such penalties.
  • The League of Women Voters will have an information table on Main Street near the Chamber of Commerce information booth on June 15 and July 7. The League hopes to increase voter registration and recruit members.
  • Jennifer Zwarich, chair of the Tree Advisory Board, reported that a few dozen tree pit guards have been installed on Main Street with a grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Two Market Street residents who appeared before the board in December to ask for compensation for valuables damaged when their basement flooded last year returned to the board on May 14. The village’s insurance company had previously told the board the village was not liable for the damage. On Tuesday, the couple raised questions regarding the timeline of the insurance company’s decision. During the discussion Merandy questioned why valuable video equipment had been left in the basement of a home in a flood zone, and Trustee Fran Murphy also asked why the couple had not contacted their own insurance company. Village Clerk Jeff Vidakovich said he would review the file and report back to the board.

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