Privatizing garbage collection looks likely

At the Tuesday (Nov. 23) meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board, Mayor Dave Merandy reviewed bids from these companies for collecting garbage and recyclables, a service now provided by the village Highway Department.

Royal Carting provided the low bid at $191,119 for the first year of service and also bid significantly lower for subsequent years and other aspects of the service. AAA Carting bid $650,000 and City Carting $281,940 for year one of service.

The annual cost of the village doing its own trash collection is $167,334, including employee wages, disposal fees and equipment maintenance. 

Merandy said Royal’s bid was much lower than anticipated, and that while a decision won’t be made during his term, which ends Dec. 6, “it’s well worth having the village contract this out.” 

Privatizing the service, Merandy said, would enable Highway Department crews to spend more time working on roads and eliminate the need to purchase a costly new garbage truck. 

When Trustee Kathleen Foley suggested moving forward with privatization that night, Merandy said the process will require more work, including a public meeting and presentations by Royal. 

“It’s a big change,” Merandy said. “People will have to understand all the implications,” adding his recommendation that the new board move forward with Royal’s proposal. 

Parking dilemma

The board continued to weigh parking options for 40 Main St. The 6,564 square-foot-space, formerly the Ellen Hayden Gallery, is being converted to storefront retail with offices in the rear. Village zoning requires seven parking spaces for the retail operation and 37 spaces for the offices.

In recent years, businesses have obtained “parking waivers” at a cost of $250 for each space when adequate off-street parking is not available to meet zoning requirements. Planning Board Chair Matt Francisco has advised against issuing waivers because of the unprecedented scale of what is needed at 40 Main St. 

Instead, the board is considering making space available for the 40 Main St. businesses in the metered municipal parking lot on Fair Street and the lot at Mayor’s Park, which also will soon be metered. Together, the two lots, which are underutilized during weekday business hours, have 68 spaces. 

On Tuesday, James Gary, the owner of 40 Main St., pointed out that office staff will work part of the week from home, reducing the number of spaces needed.

Other factors being considered include winter parking permits issued for the Fair Street lot and the need to keep some paid parking spaces available to visitors. 

Francisco told the Village Board that, in order to comply with village law, it must decide the parking question within 60 days of Nov. 11, the date the Planning Board closed its public hearing on the project. 

“We need to work with the owners to see if we can find the spaces using Mayor’s Park and the municipal lot,” Merandy said. 

No vote was taken, but when Merandy polled the board informally there was unanimous support for his suggested approach.

In other business …

  • Because a new dump truck ordered by the village can’t be delivered for several months, the Highway Department and board are scrambling to ensure there is adequate equipment to sand and salt streets this winter. A number of options were discussed, including borrowing a truck from Philipstown, a scenario that set off a lengthy, acrimonious exchange between Merandy and Foley. The mayor expressed annoyance that Foley had not informed him that she had contacted Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea about the truck loan, describing it as a “deal” she had made. Foley responded that there was no “deal,” that she had only gathered information, which she said is part of her duties as a trustee. 
  • The board will hold a workshop on Nov. 30 that will be the last public meeting for Merandy and Trustees Marie Early and Fran Murphy before Foley takes office as mayor and Cathryn Fadde and Eliza Starbuck join the board as trustees.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Turton, who has been a reporter for The Current since its founding in 2010, moved to Philipstown from his native Ontario in 1998. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Cold Spring government, features