Board approves budget; plans for Community Day
The Cold Spring Village Board at its April 27 meeting adopted the 2021-22 budget.
The general fund, which supports most major village services including the police, trash and recycling pickup, and road and sidewalk maintenance, will total $2,619,872, of which $1,745,300 will be raised through property taxes, a 2.3 percent increase over last year. The board voted not to increase taxes by the maximum allowable 3.85 percent.
The printed budget summary from Mayor Dave Merandy, who also serves as budget officer, states: “Although the total levy is increasing, due to changes in property assessed values, last year’s tax rate of $11.3922 per $1,000 of assessed value is not expected to increase.” Putnam County will provide updated assessed property values by June 1.
The board also approved 2021-22 budgets for the water and sewer funds at $674,374 and $556,101, respectively. Neither will affect the tax rate as they are funded by user fees.
Keep Cold Spring Beautiful
In correspondence, three residents living near the riverfront expressed concern that the ongoing “Keep Cold Spring Beautiful” campaign will have a negative impact on quality of life in that part of the village.
The campaign, initiated by the Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Village Board, uses posters, in part to encourage visitors to picnic in village parks as a way of reducing Main Street congestion.
Young Lee, one of the residents, wrote: “I’m resigned to the noisy crowds, but I cannot imagine the area being able to absorb any more visitors and their detritus.”
“I don’t think [the campaign] was an intentional push to get people to the river, [but rather] there are other areas to spread out in the village,” Trustee Kathleen Foley said. The poster lists a number of other parks in addition to those at the riverfront.
Eliza Starbuck, the president of the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce and co-owner of Flowercup Wines, said she encourages people who visit her shop to eat in village parks. “We’re in a pandemic,” she said. “Having people picnicking in the middle of Main Street is not optimal for health and safety concerns.”
The board discussed the possibility of adding portable bathrooms and additional trash bins as a way of coping with the large riverfront crowds.
In other business …
- The Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce has agreed to assume responsibility for cleaning the public restrooms near the pedestrian tunnel on Saturdays. Staff from the Highway Department maintain them on other days. The restrooms are open Thursday through Monday but will be available seven days a week after Memorial Day.
- Merandy reported on plans for Community Day, which is tentatively scheduled for Labor Day weekend. Fireworks have been booked (sponsored by Nick Groombridge and Kim Connor), and donations secured from Magazzino and M&T Bank to fund live music. A volunteer planning committee will be recruited.
- Village residents and business owners have until midnight on May 15 to respond to a survey regarding the Cold Spring Police Department being conducted as part of a state order requiring municipalities to review their law-enforcement operations. Trustee Fran Murphy said she had distributed links to 640 people and so far received 295 surveys plus 11 hard copies, a nearly 50 percent return rate she described as “phenomenal.”
- Trustees on Tuesday (May 4) approved Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke’s request to hire Nicholas Cosentino to fill a vacancy. Cosentino has worked for the New Castle Police Department in Westchester County since 2005. “I was very impressed with Officer Cosentino in his interview and his approach to community policing,” said Foley.