Cold Spring mayor nets $3,000 at Mayor’s Park
Mayor Dave Merandy took on Cold Spring’s parking problem on Saturday (Oct. 24) with what he called “a little trial down at Mayor’s Park.”
He explained the experiment at the Tuesday (Oct. 27) meeting of the Village Board.
Merandy said he had tickets and signs printed and, with the help of two paid village employees and two volunteers, offered parking for $20 per space along Fair Street next to Mayor’s Park and in the southern portion of the baseball outfield.
The move seemed to resonate with drivers, who otherwise might have spent time circling in search of a spot.
Merandy said that nearly 200 drivers paid to park, generating a profit for the village of about $3,000 after expenses.
He noted the board had briefly discussed the idea but that he didn’t get a resolution to approve it. “Hopefully the board isn’t really angry at me,” he said, adding that he understood that “some people might be upset.” (Reactions on Facebook were mixed, from praise for the mayor for raising revenue for the village to complaints the park should be reserved for residents.)
Merandy said he had not spoken to the police officer on duty that day to determine if the added parking had any effect on the rest of the village. He emphasized that the venture was a test and that public comment would be sought before the village opened Mayor’s Park regularly for parking.
He described the 10 hours he spent at the park as exhausting. “It was nonstop,” Merandy said. Only one driver grumbled about the $20 cost and nearly all of those who parked headed toward Little Stony Point and Breakneck, he said.
During the meeting’s public comment period, resident Evan Hudson said High Street and the area near Tot’s Park were “under siege” with “wall-to-wall” parking problems; he asked the mayor to act even before the board re-establishes a parking committee.
Merandy said he had discussed the issue with the village attorney, who said it would be difficult to restrict parking on public streets.