Notes from Cold Spring Village Board

The rain helped, but water restrictions still a must

More than 3 inches of rain has fallen on Cold Spring in recent days, raising the village reservoirs to nearly 70 percent capacity after a drought in July and August reduced them to about half their limit. 

But, at the Wednesday (Sept. 14) meeting of the Village Board, Mayor Kathleen Foley said residents and businesses should continue to conserve. 

“New York State has our region under a drought watch through October,” she said. “The village emergency order will remain in effect for [at least] two more weeks.”

The village recently cancelled a hydrant flushing and has been drawing minimal amounts of water from the treatment facility on Fishkill Road.

Village officials are concerned about having to request an emergency connection to the Catskill Aqueduct, which would be costly. 

Unrelated to the drought, the village is closing in on an agreement with New York City for a long-term connection to the aqueduct so it can repair the reservoir dams, a project that has been in the works for years. 

The mayor pointed out that although Cold Spring provides water to Nelsonville and a few Philipstown homes, there has never been a formal agreement. That agreement is being drafted in conjunction with the aqueduct connection. 

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board accepted the low bid of $106,260 from Saks Plumbing and Heating of New York City to upgrade technology that transmits meter data to the water department. The existing system will reach its end-of-life at year end.

In other business…

  • Larry Burke, officer-in-charge of the Cold Spring Police Department, said officers had seen an increase in calls related to anxiety and mental health and has worked with the Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub on where to direct people for help. He said he also wants to increase officer training. Burke said part of the problem is that most services are located in eastern Putnam. “People don’t want to leave their comfort zone, and I don’t blame them,” he said. 
  • CSPD responded to 60 calls for service in August. Officers issued 121 parking and 16 traffic tickets. There were no arrests. The Cold Spring Fire Co. answered 16 calls, including four runs to aid other departments, three activated fire alarms, three smoke investigations, two electrical hazards, two assists to emergency medical services, a propane leak and a motor vehicle crash.  
  • The Village Board and Planning Board will hold a joint meeting on Sept. 28 to discuss strategies to provide input to the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail. Foley said village boards need to think about how they will gather public comment; once an environmental impact study for the trail is released, there will be just a 30-day window for submitting comments. Trustee Laura Bozzi has been meeting with Fjord Trail officials about plans to manage traffic and parking. 
  • The board approved wording for a sign at the Cold Spring Boat Club as required by its lease with the village. The sign will indicate the launch is available to residents at no charge and include information about membership. 
  • New signs at Mayor’s Park will identify it as being open to the community, rather than for “residents only.” Foley said she favored doing away with the permits required to bring dogs into the park but advocated requiring leashes.
  • The board approved a law to allow its meetings to be livestreamed. No comments were received during Wednesday’s public hearing. Residents can attend meetings in person or by Zoom via the village website.

7 thoughts on “Notes from Cold Spring Village Board

  1. So, with Mayor’s Park open to the community and no permit required for walking dogs, instead of walking dogs at the dock, people should walk them in Mayor’s Park. The fence is still an issue for handicapped. It would be much better as a gate.

  2. I was glad to see that Cold Spring is enforcing the signage required by the Boat Club lease. However, I still think it’s absurd that the Boat Club has been granted lease renewals for decades, privatizing such a large part of our public waterfront. With all of the community outrage about Dockside Park being closed for renovations (the renewed park is looking incredible, by the way) and the speculation that the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail is going to destroy the character of the village, how has the Boat Club continuously slipped under the radar?

    As a lifelong resident of Philipstown, and a five-year resident of the village, I’d much rather have a riverfront walking trail continue on that property, or even better: Lease the property to a restaurateur so we can have waterfront dining again, last seen when Dockside Restaurant closed in the 1990s.

    • It’s absurd to think that 100 feet is a “large portion” of the riverfront. I estimate there is a mile of waterfront to walk from Foundry Cove to Northgate.

      The Boat Club is open to all residents who care to join, and boat launching is available at no cost to village and Philipstown residents. It’s absurd to live in a river town without access to the river.

      As a lifetime resident of Cold Spring, I treasure this jewel we have. I have been boating on our river for 50 years.

    • The Boat Club has not “slipped under the radar.” Those who have lived in the village for a while might remember that the Boat Club was fully considered during the formulation of the comprehensive plan, which was adopted with extensive public input. To quote from the plan: The Boat Club “contributes to an active riverfront that is an asset to the village. Many visitors arrive by boat, bringing business to the village without worsening parking problems.”

      In addition, the lease renewal was conducted by the Village Board. These are people who are, by their election, entrusted to act in the best interest of the village, not just to serve a vocal minority, including those whose living situations brought them in proximity to an establishment that has existed for 67 years — well before their arrival.

      The Boat Club is open for membership to any village resident. It is a unique place and an integral part of the waterfront. We do not need another park adjacent to three other parks.

    • It’s nice that at least something is being enforced by Mayor Foley and the Village Board. Although Boat Club signage mandated by the lease is low-hanging fruit, I’m surprised a committee, including a calligrapher, wasn’t formed.

      While they tangle with the “extremely complex” signage issue, more important, recently enacted regulations, such as those in Chapter 126 (Parking) and Chapter 100 (Short-term Rentals), are being ignored and police told to stand down while the board creates absurdly biased committees (five of the seven members of the short-term rental committee operate STRs).

      The village has yet to install parking signs based on Chapter 126, which was approved after public hearings in 2020 and 2021, even though a detailed list was given to them by the previous board. And why isn’t the code update being completed? Only Chapter 134 (Zoning) and two related chapters remain. The completion and approval of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, as well as improved funding opportunities, depend on the completion of the update. Importantly, if the LWRP were completed, the village would have a stronger position while discussing the Fjord Trail.

      Regarding the Boat Club: It is clear from Chapter 2 (Riverfront) of the comprehensive plan, which was created with input from residents, organizations and businesses, that the majority of the community wanted the Boat Club to continue, with modifications. Stating that there was “community outrage” over the closing of Dockside Park and that the property the Boat Club occupies is a “large” part of our waterfront are exaggerations. If there was community outrage, I must have missed it; the Boat Club has 130 feet of waterfront. It was established in 1955 and is part of the fabric of the village, and I’m glad it will remain for the next 20 years.

      The amount paid to the village by the Boat Club for the first three years of the lease is lower because it had three years remaining on its previous lease.

      Merandy is the former mayor of Cold Spring.

  3. The Boat Club has been there forever and it should stay. We don’t need another park. But we need is people to stop walking their dogs at the dock. It’s disgusting.

  4. Todd Seekircher’s letter about the Cold Spring Boat Club in last week’s Current caught my eye. Mr. Seekircher argues that it is absurd for the Boat Club lease to privatize such a large part of our waterfront. He notes several uses that might serve the village and its residents better.

    People knowledgeable of the boat club membership tell me that fewer than 1 in 5 of its members (less than 20 percent) are Cold Spring village residents, many do not even live in Philipstown, some live out of state. Additionally, only about half of the Boat Club’s governing board are village residents.

    In a letter published in The Current last month, Richard Dorritie referred to the new Boat Club lease as a “sweetheart deal.” My follow-up analysis calculated that the Club’s lease was a $1.5 million to $2 million gift from tax paying Cold Spring residents to a Boat Club whose members are mostly non-residents.

    How is it that the Village can throw away money like this while pleading poverty every time it considers funding public restrooms and fixing sidewalks?

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