Board holds annual reorganization meeting

Route 9D ‘calming’

In a process that Mayor Kathleen Foley described as “boring but important,” the Cold Spring Village Board approved a litany of more than 40 appointments, designations and schedules on Wednesday (Dec. 20) as part of its annual reorganization meeting.

The approvals ranged from reappointment of village staff and work assignments for the mayor and trustees to the members of standing committees, the reappointment of John Furst as village attorney, the naming of M&T Bank as the official depository and approval of meeting schedules.

The Putnam County News and Recorder was reappointed as the official newspaper, based on a state law that requires paid circulation. A request by The Highlands Current to be considered an additional official newspaper was not approved but the board supported a resolution by newly seated Trustee Aaron Freimark that named The Current as an additional paper for legal notices.

The Planning Board will include two new members heading into the new year: Jesse St. James and Ben Cheah. St. James will be named chair, although his appointment was tabled pending the completion of his duties as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The board approved a schedule of fees, including everything from permits related to construction projects, file searches and fines to docking fees, short-term rental permits and metered parking rates.

Storm response

Summarizing the village response to the high winds and heavy rains that struck Cold Spring on Dec. 17, Foley reported that wastewater treatment plant was able to accommodate increased flows without discharges above normal levels, and that fresh-water treatment was mod-ified at the plant on Fishkill Road to address changes in bacteria levels caused by the rainfall.

“It’s pretty spectacular that tiny teams at the wastewater plant and water treatment plant brought us through that storm without problems and kept everyone’s drinking water safe,” Foley said.

The mayor also commented on the Cedar Street culvert, which was breached during the storm, causing flooding. The Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services assisted the village with pumps to draw down the water, she said, adding that flows from the pumps were contained by state Department of Transportation catch basins and didn’t go farther west than Locust Ridge.

“The Cedar Street culvert is an ongoing problem; it can’t handle the volume and velocity of storms we’re experiencing as part of climate change,” Foley said.

The mayor said the culvert is not one of the village locations that can benefit from Federal Emergency Management Agency funding in the wake of July’s severe storms because, although it failed, it wasn’t actually damaged, which is a requirement for federal funding. She said the village will pursue “resiliency” funding from FEMA, which the site may qualify for.

Some residents have expressed concern that pumping at Cedar Street during the July storm contributed to flooding in the area around Main Street east of Chestnut Avenue.

“It’s not a fast process,” Foley said. “We’re going to look at multi-year strategies and project planning,” and, as engineering progresses, the board will hold a public workshop to report in detail.

Expanded grant application

Cold Spring’s $25,000 grant application to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, led by Trustee Laura Bozzi, is being expanded. The application to the Clean Energy Communities Program, which initially included funding requests for the installation of four electric-vehicle charging stations, a pilot food scrap recycling program and 10 medium-to-large pollinator-friendly trees for village streets, will now incorporate an energy audit of Village Hall.

The study will provide “a comprehensive, fuel-neutral evaluation of potential cost effective, low-cost/no-cost and capital upgrades” to coincide with planned renovations of the building.

Garrison’s Landing water

The board approved, in principle, an agreement with the Town of Philipstown to have the village water department conduct routine testing for the Garrison’s Landing water district.

The town is in the process of hiring a new company to operate the system after the previous firm didn’t renew its contract. Village staff will only be responsible for water testing, treatment and reporting results to the county Health Department. Formal adoption of the 90-day agreement is contingent upon the determination of fees, which Foley said will be based on overtime rates since village staff already work eight hours or more per day.

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

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