Notes from the Cold Spring Village Board

Police survey; fire company makes big purchase

A survey to determine how the public views the Cold Spring Police Department could be complete within weeks, but first the Village Board must decide who will be asked to take it and whether it will be submitted electronically, on paper, or both.

The survey, being drafted by Trustees Kathleen Foley and Fran Murphy, and Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke, will include 10 to 12 questions and will be part of the village response to an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that requires municipal police forces to review their policies and procedures.

A plan must be on the governor’s desk by April 1. Murphy said a public meeting will be held in March.

At the Feb. 9 meeting of the board, Foley had said she hoped the survey would be available by Tuesday (Feb. 16), with a deadline of Feb. 26. The survey was not mentioned at the Feb. 16 meeting. On Thursday, Murphy said she hoped the final recommendations, including the timing of the survey, would be presented to the board next week. 

During the comment period on Feb. 9, Eliza Starbuck, president of the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce, encouraged the board to allow up to a month for survey responses. 

Murphy said the survey, which will distinguish between village residents and nonresidents, will be distributed electronically with hard copies available at Village Hall. Paper copies will also be distributed to seniors at Chestnut Ridge.

Mayor Dave Merandy has said he prefers door-to-door distribution of a paper survey that focuses on residents and possibly merchants and their employees. Trustee Heidi Bender favored making the survey available to a broader audience, including visitors to Cold Spring.

The software being used for the survey ensures only one survey can be submitted per computer IP address. During the public comment, one resident cast doubt on the use of computer IP addresses to determine the location of respondents, pointing out that village residents served by Optimum will appear as having a Wappingers Falls IP address. He also questioned the ability of more than one person per household to complete the survey if submissions are limited to a single response per IP address. 

Foley said she would research the IP address issue, adding responses may be possible from more than one email address that use the same IP address. 

In other business …

■ The Cold Spring Fire Co. will spend $700,000 for a new engine after trading in a 20-year-old apparatus. Delivery is expected in eight months. CSFC plans to spend another $100,000 to update other aging equipment, including radios and a 2004 Polaris Ranger utility vehicle. Foley, providing the report on behalf of Chief Tom Merrigan, clarified that while the village owns the firehouse and pays expenses related to it, equipment purchases are paid for by the nonprofit CSFC. 

■ Following Chazen Consultants’ recent report on the village water supply, Merandy met with Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea and Nelsonville Mayor Michael Bowman to discuss the feasibility of an expanded water district.

■ Burke reported on Feb. 9 that CSPD officers answered 48 calls for service in January and issued 29 traffic and 38 parking tickets. No arrests were made. Responding to a question from the mayor, Burke said CSPD averages 10 to 15 arrests per year. 

■ Bender will soon present a proposal for a potential reopening of Tots Park in the spring, including procedures for addressing COVID-19 restrictions. 

■ Village accountant Michelle Ascolillo reported on Feb. 9 that only five property owners have not paid their 2020 taxes, compared to an annual average of up to 15 delinquent accounts. Unpaid bills are referred to Putnam County for collection. 

■ The village will not use fireworks to celebrate Independence Day, although, depending on the status of COVID-19, there may be a display on Labor Day weekend. 

■ Trustee Marie Early will contact Seastreak about potential plans for fall cruises docking at Cold Spring.

■ A small, early April wedding at the riverfront bandstand was tentatively approved, pending details on traffic control, social distancing and mask policy.

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