Notes from the Cold Spring Village Board

Request for Route 9D safety measures, police body cameras

The Cold Spring Village Board plans to ask the state Department of Transportation to install traffic “calming” and pedestrian safety measures along Route 9D where the road passes through the village.

At the board’s Sept. 20 meeting, Mayor Kathleen Foley said the request has the support of Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne and other local officials, including state Sen. Rob Rolison, whose district includes Cold Spring. In a draft letter to Rolison, Foley commented that DOT officials have in the past said their job is “to keep traffic flowing, not slow it down.”

“Common sense recognizes that Route 9 D is not an open highway,” Foley wrote. “It is a street in the village that must be safely shared with pedestrians and bikers.”

The village will request measures such as reduced speed limits at the north and south approaches, pedestrian “safe islands” at heavy crossing areas, such as near schools and the senior center, visually distinct crosswalks, pedestrian-activated traffic lights, and crosswalks and curbs that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“Common sense recognizes that Route 9 D is not an open highway,” Foley wrote. “It is a street in the village that must be safely shared with pedestrians and bikers.”

The village will request measures such as reduced speed limits at the north and south approaches, pedestrian “safe islands” at heavy crossing areas such as near schools and the senior center, visually distinct crosswalks, pedestrian-activated traffic lights, and crosswalks and curbs that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Police policies

At the Sept. 20 meeting, the board approved new or updated policies in six areas of Cold Spring Police Department operations, including those regulating: (1) mobile audio and video devices, such as vehicle dash cameras; (2) portable audio/video devices, such as body cameras; (3) personal communication devices, such as mobile phones; (4) the property room; (5) maintenance and release of records; and (6) protected information.

The policies were developed by Lexipol, a consulting firm that specializes in policy development for municipal police and fire departments. The CSPD policies were last updated in 2013. The village contracted with Lexipol in 2020 to comply with then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring all municipal police departments to complete detailed operational reviews.

Foley said via email that CSPD officers have requested body cameras and that acquiring them was the No. 1 recommendation from the 2020 resident survey on community policing. The new policies, she said, will be implemented as officers are trained. Lexipol will train officers through their phones and Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke will provide individual training as needed, she said.

The village purchased body cameras earlier this year with a $14,000 grant from the state Division of Criminal Justice Service.

“The public will likely begin seeing them on our officers’ vests later next week,” Foley said. “No officer will wear a camera until policy training is complete.”

The mayor said in the past that CSPD had “hand-me-down” dash cameras provided by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department but that police vehicles are not currently outfitted with them.

“I hope we can find additional grant money to reinstate the dashcams,” she said. “As of last night, we’re ready with a policy when we have the equipment available.”

Other business

  • The board reviewed proposed changes to Chapter 126 (Vehicles and Traffic) and Chapter 127 (Residential Parking Program) of the Village Code. At the Oct. 4 meeting, it will likely take a final look at the revisions before scheduling public hearings. The Residential Parking Program would affect 11 streets east of the Metro-North Tracks and metered parking on Main Street; a permit program for 20 streets in the upper village would be implemented later.

  • The board has received requests for the sale of small pieces of village-owned property in front of 14 Stone St., 5 Market St., 55 Main St. and 133-135 Main St. The requests will be assessed individually once detailed information, including site surveys, is received. The village has in recent years approved similar sales, including cases where stoops have been built on village property. Foley said the property sales reduce village liability.

  • Seastreak will not dock at Cold Spring on Sept. 23 as planned as part of the schedule approved by the Village Board on Sept. 13. The company cited inadequate ticket sales in announcing the cancellation. The first fall cruise will arrive on Sept. 30.
  • The board approved a request on Sept. 27 from Seastreak to remain docked at the village during its Columbus Day excursion on Oct. 9. The boat had been scheduled to dock at Bear Mountain but the state park dock is no longer available. The village receives an additional fee of $1,000 when the boats remain docked for the duration of a trip. The sloop Clearwater will dock at Cold Spring on Oct. 20; Seastreak will dock at Bear Mountain after unloading passengers.

  • The village will receive a $5,000 state grant if five residents purchase an electric vehicle after Aug. 4 and a $10,000 grant if 10 residents install a heat pump or heat-pump hot-water heater after June 1. Email [email protected] with the installation or purchase date, model and installer or dealership name.

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