State Park Wants Cold Spring’s Water

Fred Martin of the Little Stony Point Citizens' Association and Evan Thompson of the Hudson Highlands State Park discuss with the Cold Spring board the state's desire to tap into the village water and sewer systems. (Photo by M. Turton)

Also: village spending lower than expected

Evan Thompson, the manager of the Hudson Highlands State Park, told the Cold Spring Village Board on Dec. 17 that he needs “one last piece of the puzzle” to complete improvements at Little Stony Point.

“We don’t have water,” he said.

Little Stony Point, located just north of Cold Spring, is a key entrance to the 8,000-acre state park.

Thompson asked that the state be permitted to tap into the village water and sewer systems about 700 feet from Little Stony Point.

Mayor Dave Merandy was supportive — but cautious. “I’d love to just say ‘yes,’ ” he said. “But I can’t put residents’ water supply in jeopardy.”

The mayor said he is not giving a “hard no” to the proposed project but needs details on how much water new facilities at Little Stony Point would use. When the Cold Spring-to-Beacon Fjord Trail is completed, hikers on it would also use water at Little Stony Point, he noted.

Volume could be a problem he said, especially in light of the Butterfield redevelopment project, which, when complete, will use significant amounts of water.

Trustee Steve Voloto pointed out that drought conditions in recent years have lowered water levels in the village reservoirs.

Thompson estimates that up 1,500 people enter the park at Little Stony Point on peak days. He hopes to add two restrooms, one with two urinals and two toilets, the other with four toilets.

He said additional restrooms could take some of the pressure off Cold Spring shops, many of which limit use of the restroom to customers because of the many requests.

Little Stony Point has a well, Thompson said, but the water isn’t potable. Trustees discussed the possibility of using well water for the toilets, reducing the amount of village water that would be needed.

If the park is allowed to hook into both village systems, the state would pay the costs, Thompson said.

Merandy asked Thompson to return with more details, such as estimates of how much water Little Stony Point would use.

Improvements at Little Stony Point over the past two years have included paving the Washburn Trail parking lot, converting the caretaker’s house into a park office and the construction of a volunteer center by the Friends of Little Stony Point that will have its grand opening on Jan. 1.

In other business …

■ Village Accountant Michelle Ascolillo reported that projected expenditures for fiscal year 2019-20 will be about $100,000 less than expected because costs have been lower than budgeted in areas such as medical insurance, pension contributions, attorney fees, worker’s compensation and shared services.

■ The Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub in Cold Spring is planning a 5K run and shorter fun run for May 17. David Marzollo, a member of the nonprofit’s board, said the run will follow the route used by the annual Turkey Trot, beginning at the riverfront bandstand. The shorter run will be held below the railroad tracks after the main race.

Marzollo said the event, a fundraiser, will also help promote the Hub’s mission, which is to provide mental health and addiction services. In its first six months, he said, the Hub has raised nearly $100,000. He will meet with Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke of the Cold Spring Police Department to discuss traffic control and return to the board with details.

■ Trustees approved hiring part-time help to organize and digitize files at Village Hall through mid-January.

■ Burke requested authorization to hire a temporary administrative assistant to organize older evidence files. No action was taken pending details about the cost.

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3 thoughts on “State Park Wants Cold Spring’s Water

  1. I was startled by the equation made by Cold Spring’s mayor between the water needs of the proposed Little Stony Point water hookup and those of the Butterfield development as a drain on the Village of Cold Spring. One is a year-round, 24/7 cluster of residences with showers, washing machines and dishwashers. The other is a pass-through site used by hikers from dawn to dusk and for occasional one-day events such as Maple Syrup Day.

    The difference is between filling a teacup and a reservoir. The facility at Little Stony Point receives minimal use during the winter months. In the high season, even with more than 1,000 visitors a day, each would be unlikely to use the sanitary facilities more than twice a day. They might refill a water flask. Probably they’d buy bottled water instead.

    Would it be preferable to find unwanted “deposits” along the trails? Little Stony Point is a part of life in Philipstown. Common sense calls for it to be made more usable for our local citizens as well as for the young outside visitors who may bring new vigor and an economic boost to our beloved town.

  2. Clearly, Little Stony Point needs composting toilets, like the Clivus Multrum units in use in many similarly remote situations. Better yet, the park’s stewards could install a harvest toilet, such as the Phoenix, made by Advanced Composting Systems in Whitefish, Montana, which allows users to turn poop and pee into fertilizer. Come on, fellow beings — think outside the flush toilet!

  3. I would not want nasty stuff being left behind due the lack of facilities. However, letting government step in on the most simple situations almost always creates non-needed havoc, cost and waste. Why not take the water from the Hudson and use such for the flush and the hand-rinse — after all, people swim in the Hudson! Just put signs up stating that the water is not potable… DO NOT DRINK! Instead, install water vending machines that don’t charge an arm and a leg. With the new apartment buildings built in Cold Spring, water will become a major issue without adding anything more to hurt the village.