Mayor asks county to ‘share the growth’
At the Wednesday (Feb. 8) meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board, Mayor Kathleen Foley asked Putnam County to “share the growth” after learning that the county had collected a record $82 million in sales tax compared to $78 million in 2021 and was $17 million more than what the county had budgeted.
The revenue figures were provided to legislators during the Jan. 30 meeting of the Audit and Administration Committee.
Foley said she would like to see “some of those dollars” come back to the county’s towns and villages.
Putnam is one of 13 counties in the state that don’t share sales tax revenue with their municipalities. Cold Spring and Philipstown have suggested that the county share revenue if the total exceeds that collected the year before, but new County Executive Kevin Byrne has not offered his support for the idea.
Putnam Sales Tax Collections
2017 $57.4M $58.8M
2018 $58.5M $63.1M
2019 $60.5M $66M
2020 $65.7M $66.8M
2021 $60.4M $78.1M
2022 $65M $82M
Figures are not adjusted for inflation.
“We have plenty of public works we could be doing for the benefit of county taxpayers,” Foley said. “This is starting to look like hoarding; $80 million is a lot of money, and we really need it.”
Trustee Eliza Starbuck said under the share-the-growth proposed by Philipstown Town Board member Jason Angell, the county would share $3 million from the 2022 increase with municipalities.
“We’re not asking for all $80 million!” she said.
In other business …
■ Fair Street will not be included in the village parking plan that will be implemented by early summer. Starbuck suggested the change in light of safety concerns raised by residents. The plan had called for Fair Street to be made one-way with metered parking on Saturdays. Starbuck also reported that the village will seek approval from state Legislature to expand residential parking permits beyond the village core.
■ Marianne Sullivan, a member of the Philipstown Trails Committee, outlined plans for the proposed multi-use path from Cold Spring to Garrison. The plan calls for a path connecting parks, schools, the farmers market and libraries. The preferred route south from Cold Spring would begin at the corner of Chestnut and Bank streets.
■ Putnam County Legislator Nancy Montgomery was not in attendance for her monthly report but requested that Foley share one update, that the county Legislature recently rejected her proposal to livestream its meetings via Zoom.
■ Village Accountant Michelle Ascolillo reported that Putnam will be notified of $40,234 in unpaid property taxes. The county reimburses the village, then collects the taxes.
■ Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke reported that Cold Spring Police Department responded to 63 calls for service in January and issued nine traffic and 13 parking tickets. There were no arrests. He said the village has been approved for a $14,000 grant from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services for the purchase of seven body cameras. In a 2021 survey of village residents, respondents ranked body cameras as the most important equipment needed for officers.
■ The Cold Spring Fire Co. answered 16 calls in January, including four activated fire alarms, three assists to emergency medical services, three mutual aids, two smoke investigations, a structure fire, an animal rescue, a car accident and an assist to a local agency. Chief Jeff Phillips said CSFC is recruiting volunteers and encouraged residents to visit the firehouse any Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
■ The village reservoirs are at 97.8 percent capacity, 2.5 percent greater than a year ago.
■ Charlotte (Charlie) Brooks and James Taylorson were appointed to the Recreation Commission.
■ The board observed a moment of silence in honor of Ed Mancari, who died Feb. 3. A former trustee and deputy mayor, he was a life member and past president and of the Cold Spring Fire Co. and its treasurer at the time of his death.