Damage at West Point leaves no place to dock
Details are yet to be finalized for the annual fall boat cruises that dock at Cold Spring. James Barker, a representative of Seastreak cruises, told the Cold Spring Village Board at its Wednesday (Sept. 6) workshop that damage caused by the severe storms July 9 at the West Point dock has complicated the company’s plans.
As part of its agreement with the village to preserve scenic views, Seastreak has docked some of its boats at West Point after dropping passengers at Cold Spring. The company has been permitted to leave a boat at the Cold Spring dock during its four-hour visit once per weekend.
That arrangement worked well. For the past two seasons, Seastreak added tours of West Point, which Barker said were popular. However, because of the storm damage, West Point has not allowed Seastreak to dock this year.
Barker said the company has approached Bear Mountain State Park about docking there after dropping passengers in Cold Spring. If that is not an option, the Village Board will have to decide whether all boats can remain at the Cold Spring dock for the duration of each visit.
The village has anticipated more than $46,000 in docking fees from Seastreak from up to three cruises per weekend from Friday to Sunday. If the company can only run one cruise per weekend, the drop in revenue for Cold Spring would be substantial.
“We have to be very pragmatic and realistic,” Mayor Kathleen Foley said, adding that because installation of Main Street parking meters is behind schedule, revenue from that source will also fall short.
“I don’t love having the boats docked there,” she said. “But I am more comfortable with it than I would be under normal circumstances.”
The mayor said while having every Seastreak boat stay at the dock will make some people unhappy, “it’s just real at this point, budget-wise.”
During the public comment period, resident Walter Ulmer questioned increasing the boats’ carbon footprint by making them travel empty to Bear Mountain and back, “for the convenience of folks who don’t want to see boats at the dock.”
Ulmer commented that if the village is seriously committed to environmental responsibility, “let’s take Bear Mountain off the table and just live with a little inconvenience.”
A decision on Seastreak will be made after the board receives more details on Bear Mountain dockings and a proposed cruise schedule. Seastreak boats have typically come to Cold Spring from mid-September through mid-November on Saturdays, Sundays and some Fridays.
In other business…
- Public hearings on revisions to Chapter 126 (Vehicles and Traffic) and Chapter 127 (Residential Parking Program) of the Village Code have been postponed pending Gov. Kathy Hochul’s consideration of a bill that would enable expansion of a parking program to include streets in the upper village. Foley said the process will proceed for the residential parking program on the 11 streets east of the Metro-North tracks previously approved by the state.
- Trustee Laura Bozzi is looking into electric-vehicle charging stations on village-owned properties as part of a Central Hudson installation grant. Sites discussed include Main Street near St. Mary’s Church, the municipal parking lot on Fair Street, the Visitor Center, High Street, Northern Avenue, Market Street and the corner of B Street and Mountain Avenue. Foley noted that the Butterfield redevelopment site plans to add four EV chargers that will be available to the public for a fee, and to Butterfield residents at a discount.
- The agreement with CivicPlus, the company that provides the template for the village website, will be renewed for another year. Foley said the village will look at other providers during next year’s budget discussions.