Requests as many as 30 summer and fall dockings

The Cold Spring Village Board at its Wednesday (June 14) meeting began discussions on whether to allow an increase in the boat cruises that dock at the waterfront this summer and fall.

Seastreak, which is based in New Jersey, has proposed an expanded 2023 cruise schedule to Cold Spring to include Saturdays from Aug. 5 through Sept. 2, with a boat arriving at 11:20 a.m. and departing at 4 p.m.

The fall schedule would include Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 15 through Oct. 29, with additional dockings on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 4 through 12. Each cruise would include a maximum of 400 passengers.

Trustee Tweeps Phillips Woods said that 29 dockings “seems like a lot,” and Trustee Eliza Starbuck added the board was hesitant to allow more but “we are very much in need of the revenue.” The village budget projects receiving $28,000 from Seastreak docking fees.

Starbuck said the village lost considerable revenue last year because of cancellations due to weather and inadequate passenger bookings. She proposed that this year the village retain half of Seastreak’s deposit when cancellations occur.

Mayor Kathleen Foley asked that the potential for boats coming from West Point be factored into the Seastreak discussion. The military academy is interested in having its 120-passenger ferry dock at Cold Spring and carry passengers during major events at West Point.

“It’s smaller boats with fewer people but similar revenue stream,” Foley said. “If West Point is committed to doing that, we should look at that and get a sense of the revenue comparisons.”

Starbuck commented that revenue from West Point boats wouldn’t compare to what the village receives from Seastreak.

“I’d like us to reduce the impact of the boats as much as possible,” Foley said. “We need the amount we budgeted for, but we want to balance revenue against possible impact.”

The board agreed to remove Sept. 2 from the proposed Seastreak schedule to avoid conflict with possible Community Day events that weekend.

In other business…

  • Foley said she met recently with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, of which Putnam County is a member. The council, in conjunction with Rutgers University, runs community workshops on such issues as traffic and pedestrian safety and helps municipalities hold public conversations about priority needs. It also helps identify state and federal grants. “They’re very eager to work with Cold Spring and there is no cost to the village,” Foley said.  “I hope they will make a presentation to the board in August.” The program could help the village build its own dataset on traffic and related needs, she said.
  • The public hearing on the update to Chapters 76, 104 and 134 of the village code, which deal with signs, noise and zoning, continued. Responses to comments and questions from the public through June 14 have been updated at coldspringny.gov, along with the environmental assessment form for state review. The hearing will remain open until at least the next board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday (June 21).
  • The state Legislature passed a bill allowing the village to advertise and hire a deputy clerk and to look beyond the village for candidates. The search would be limited to Putnam and adjoining counties. “That opens a lot of possibilities” Foley said, adding that “it’s time for that position to move forward.”
  • The Historic District Review Board adopted its new design standards on June 6. Foley commented that the update was “desperately needed” as the standards had not been updated since 1999.
  • The Cold Spring Police Department responded to 65 calls in May, and officers issued 11 traffic and 118 parking tickets. There were three arrests, including one under the mental health law and two after a disagreement in a village restaurant between two people who knew each other. One was charged with assault in the third degree and the other with harassment in the second degree.
  • The Cold Spring Fire Co. responded to 14 calls last month, including the first mountain rescue of the season.
  • The pedestrian tunnel under the Metro-North tracks will soon be getting a colorful facelift. It was scheduled to be closed on June 15 and 16, allowing village crews to prime it for an abstract mural by Mary Mechalakos. A community group will be formed to plan a longer-term mural treatment. A coating will be used to make the artwork less prone to graffiti.
  • Joule Community Power Coordinator Peggy Kurtz presented Cold Spring with an Eco-Action Award in recognition of its leadership in the use of clean energy. Joule presented Philipstown with the award on June 1.

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

2 replies on “Seastreak Asks for More Cold Spring Cruises”

  1. Poor show that the village bends over to accommodate even more Seasteak and West Point boats for a nominal bit of coin, selling out local concerns. The barges don’t just come and go — they malinger and occupy the berth as their queues clog the streets and riverfront for several hours each day, robbing the view, and further bloating the area with tourists. Adding insult to injury, the noise code violating muster horn will continue to rouse the dead. As this egregious infestation of tourist boats reaches critical mass, I fear we must rename Dockside to Port Cold Spring.

  2. I look forward to the NYMT Council workshop in August! And I look forward to Mary Mechalakos’s mural for the underpass.

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