Notes from the Cold Spring Village Board

At the Wednesday (March 22) workshop of the Cold Spring Village Board, a representative from Joule Community Power provided an update on the status of reviving the community choice aggregation program that enables municipalities to collectively purchase electrical power for residents and small businesses. 

Cold Spring, Beacon and Philipstown were among 10 Hudson Valley municipalities that participated in 2021 and 2022 before the electricity supplier, Columbia Utilities, backed out of a three-year contract. To that point, the 80 percent of Cold Spring residents who participated in the program had collectively saved $216,000 on their bills, according to Joule. 

Beacon has opted not to rejoin. Glenn Weinberg of Joule said the firm has received “several strong bids” for supplying the electricity to the CCA “from very established, large energy companies with good track records.” 

The bids were shared with 13 municipalities, including Cold Spring, by Zoom earlier on Wednesday but details are not yet available to the public. Pricing will be included in a presentation at the Wednesday (March 29) village meeting. 

The mayor and trustees must then decide if Cold Spring will rejoin the CCA. If it does, the board must choose between purchasing electricity at fixed or variable rates and select electrical power generated using fossil fuels, a blend of electrical sources that includes 50 percent renewable energy or 100 percent renewable energy. 

All residents would be enrolled in the board’s default choice. Those who disagree with the choice can switch to one of the other options. Residents also will be able to opt out of the program altogether at any time. 

After his remarks to the Cold Spring board, Weinberg addressed the Philipstown Town Board. Nelsonville scheduled a CCA discussion for Thursday (March 23.)

In other business…

  • The board continued deliberations on the 2023-24 budget, focusing on proposed spending and revenue for the water and wastewater department. The first draft of the complete budget is expected by April 5. 
  • A discussion of options for replacing the lighting on the village dock was delayed until next week, pending further bid information. The lights have been inoperable due to vandalism. 
  • The board accepted bids for a variety of expenditures, including $13,125 to resurface the basketball court at Mayor’s Park; $11,632 to replace the computer server at Village Hall; $11,632 to replace the Police Department’s server; $6,126 to replace three desktop computers and add a workstation at Village Hall; and $4,417 for signage as part of the village parking plan. A change order for $4,000 requested by Taconic Engineering related to inspection of the village dams was also approved.

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