Cold Spring After the Rain

Resident concerned about flooding along Church, Garden Streets

At the July 12 meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board, Mayor Kathleen Foley praised “the entire community for coming together and coming through the storm” on July 9.

In thanking first responders, she said the Cold Spring Fire Company had answered 22 calls in a 24-hour period related to the heavy rain. In addition, the Cold Spring Police answered eight storm-related calls, Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke told The Current.

Foley lauded Superintendent of Water and Wastewater Matt Kroog for being on duty on a Sunday to keep water levels under control at the sewage treatment plant on Fair Street. As a result, no wastewater was discharged into the Hudson River, a situation that occurred in several other municipalities. 

“It was very impressive, you and your team,” Foley told Kroog. 

During the public comment period, Church Street resident Phil Heffernan raised concern about flooding along a small, intermittent stream behind properties on Garden Street and Church Street as a result of the heavy rain. Heffernan said the stream has been ignored by the village and that its flow is plugged by silt where it leaves an underground pipe to enter the surface stream. 

Foley interjected that the village is working with its consulting engineer, state and federal representatives, but that the problem begins much farther upstream. 

“The problem starts all the way up in the Nelsonville Woods,” she said, adding that the stormwater system, which is largely underground until it enters the Garden Street-Church Street stream, “is sorely under-engineered and wholly inadequate.” 

She said advocacy is needed in order to get state and federal funds to fix the problem because “we don’t have the money.” 

Damage Reporting

New York State is collecting reports of damages to local homes and businesses to support an application for federal disaster relief.

An inventory of damages is needed to determine if the amount of private property damage in this region meets the threshold for federal reimbursement, explained Assembly Member Dana Levenberg, whose district includes Philipstown and Putnam Valley, in an email to constituents. 

“Note that this form is not an application for relief programs, but the information you submit will be helpful in our efforts to get more relief,” she wrote. “Separately, be sure to document your damage in photos and keep receipts for costs related to storm damage in case you qualify for reimbursement.”

The Damage Self-Reporting Tool is located at

Heffernan said he didn’t have time to wait for remediation that could take a decade and suggested the village dredge the problematic section of the stream.

“It’s not that simple,” Foley said. “It is part of a much larger picture. Even if we dug, it’s not going to be resolved, particularly with the force and ferocity of the storms we’re having.”

She said the storm system redesign is a long-term initiative and that measures are needed as a “bridge” to get to a solution. 

“We need immediate solutions, interim solutions, and they all need to be integrated into a larger plan,” Foley said.

 When Heffernan commented he would assemble a “team” to dig out the drain using shovels, Foley suggested he instead meet with her and Hahn Engineering on site to consider interim options.

In other business…

  • Community Day is scheduled for Sept. 2, with the annual Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub 5K run to be held that morning. A request by the Chamber of Commerce to hold a music and wellness event along Main Street on Sept. 23 was tabled pending discussions with the Police Department regarding traffic and security. The possibility of combining the Sept. 23 event with Community Day was discussed but not adopted. The Chamber’s annual Cold Spring Aglow event was approved for Dec. 8. 
  • Burke reported that the Cold Spring Police Department responded to 60 calls for service in June. It made one arrest for disorderly conduct. Officers issued 20 traffic tickets and, with the assistance of a weekend parking enforcement officer, 162 parking tickets.
  • The Cold Spring Fire Co. answered 25 calls in June, including those involving mutual aid to other fire companies and a rescue at Little Stony Point.
  • The mayor was authorized to amend the contract with Royal Carting to add Saturday trash pickup.
  • Cold Spring designer Alex Wilcox Cheek presented a series of designs on behalf of a team working on revisions to the village seal. The revisions are intended to make the seal more suitable for a range of uses, from parking stickers and letterhead to note cards and signage. The bandstand will continue to be the focus of the design.

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