Restroom Unrest

Chamber says village should handle facilities 

Nat Prentice, the acting president of the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce, told the Village Board on Wednesday (April 13) that the organization has decided not to have its volunteers clean the public restrooms near the pedestrian tunnel on weekends. 

The Village Board had made the request, but “the Chamber board believes that is the village’s responsibility,” Prentice said. 

Mayor Kathleen Foley responded that the request was for “bridge funding” to assist with the cleaning until early summer. The village, she said, is working on a plan for a cleaning service that will handle all village-owned buildings. 

“It’s an unfortunate choice the Chamber has made,” Foley said, commenting that many people who use the restrooms are visitors who spend money at Main Street businesses. “I hope we can discuss this further,” she said.

Prentice said the request the Chamber received from the board was to have its volunteers maintain the restrooms on weekends during the entire tourist season. Highway Department staff take care of  maintenance on weekdays. 

He said the Chamber’s visitor center, which is adjacent to the restrooms, will open on Memorial Day weekend.

Proposed spending

The Village Board plans to vote on April 27 on a proposed budget for 2022-23, which includes a 1.89 percent tax increase and spending of $2.8 million. The document is available at coldspringny.gov.

In reviewing the spending plan, Foley said just over 20 percent of the general fund, which covers the cost of village operations, will be devoted to infrastructure improvements. About $604,000 will be used for repairs to the firehouse, Village Hall, sidewalks, roads and drainage. 

Foley said she is “very proud” of a $5,000 pilot program to be established with the Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub to increase professional development and mental health resources for Cold Spring police officers as they assist residents. 

In addition, she said, funding for the Tree Advisory Board’s maintenance of village-owned trees will be doubled.  

The mayor commented that although operating costs have increased over the years, the board was “shocked” to realize user fees for water and sewer have not increased since 2004 and 2008, respectively. The budget includes a 4.9 percent increase in water fees and a 10.2 jump for sewer fees. 

In other business …

  • The village has received half of its $200,000 allotment from the federal American Rescue Plan and expects to receive more ARP money — possibly another $200,000 — through Putnam County. The board has discussed using part of the funds for upgrades to the water treatment plant.
  • The Planning Board approved a change of use for a parcel at the Butterfield redevelopment project from retail and commercial space to retail and senior housing rental.
  • Cold Spring police officers responded to 46 calls for service in March and wrote 26 speeding tickets, four traffic tickets and 14 parking tickets. No arrests were made.
  • The Cold Spring Fire Co. answered 23 calls last month, including seven for mutual aid, five for activated alarms, five medical assists, two motor vehicle crashes and two hiker rescues. 
  • Putnam County Legislator Nancy Montgomery reported that Cold Spring resident Ben Cheah is being appointed to the Putnam Industrial Development Agency.
  • The Village Board supported resident Sean Conway’s request to have Pride flags flown at Village Hall, McConville Park and the bandstand during June, which is Pride month. Local business owners will pay for the flags.
Click to hear this post.

Leave a Reply

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. All online comments are moderated, must include your full name and may appear in print. See our guidelines here.