Notes from the Saugerties Village Board

The driveway to Stella’s Station parking lot. (Photo by David Gordon)

Former village police chief led this year’s parade

Former Saugerties police chief William Kimble would be the grand marshal for the village’s July 4 parade, mayor Bill Murphy announced July 1 at the village meeting shortly before the parade. “He just celebrated 50 years of service [including 29 years as chief], and we had a nice little reception for him,” said Murphy, While the village government held a party for him, “he hasn’t really retired,” Murphy said. Kimble can be seen directing traffic and crossing kids after school at the intersection of Partition and Main streets.

The right right-of-way

The village board discussed changing the rules for an access driveway between Stella’s Station and the Bluestone Roasting Company at its July 1 meeting. In a letter to the board, police chief Joseph Sinagra expresses concern that cars parked close to the exit ramp for Stella’s parking lot off Partition Street created a blind spot that endangered vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

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In the letter read at the meeting, Sinagra said he had personally witnessed this issue when walking a post in this area. He saw motorists attempting to enter Partition Street with an obstructed view. He also witnessed pedestrians unaware of the driveway walking into the path of vehicles attempting to exit.”

Sinagra has received a number of suggestions for alleviating the problem, including elimination of a parking space in front of the Bluestone Roasting Company and making the roadway into the parking lot one-way, with the exit onto Jane Street.

Mayor William Murphy said he too had seen the problem, and has discussed the possibility of eliminating a parking space. At one time a neighboring property owner allowed people to cross his property to get to Jane Street, Murphy said, but “evidently something went amiss between two business owners, and that privilege was taken away.”

“We used to have a right-of-way there,” recalled trustee Don Hackett. “I don’t know if we still have a right-of-way. Did we sell it? Did we abandon it? I don’t know.”

Trustee Jeannine Mayer wasn’t sure eliminating a single parking space would solve the problem. “It would still be hard to see.”

Special assignments officer Alex Wade recalled that all the buildings along Partition Street at one time had entrances facing what is now an alley. “There was a right-of-way through there, and you may be right, but I’m not sure. We tried to research it, but it seems it was all bits and pieces, not a right-of-way all the way through.”

With parking tight in the village center, Trustees agreed they would not want to give away a parking space. Trustee Vincent Buono said that might be necessary if the village can’t get permission to use the driveway.

“That driveway should be one-way going in,” Murphy declared. He said he would speak to the various people involved to see whether something can be worked out.

Climate resiliency study

Emily Vail, executive director of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, said a group of environmental organizations are launching a project to develop ways to deal with rising sea levels and storm surges along the Hudson and its tributaries The Watershed Alliance works with communities and organizations to maintain the quality of the water in the Hudson River, and helping municipalities deal with water related issues. 

“I’m here to invite the village of Saugerties to a community-building workshop,” Vail said, a one-day event in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy. Other participants included Cornell Cooperative Extension and Scenic Hudson.”

“Community Reliance Building” would bring together municipal officials, staff and others to answer a series of questions about community risks and resiliency to climate issues. The framework for the program, which involves identification of climate change problems and developing solutions, was developed by the Nature Conservancy of Connecticut. “The partners have been working with several Hudson Valley communities, focusing on such issues as sea-level rise and coastal flooding, as well as inland flooding from some of the tributaries of the Hudson,” Vail said.

The village has been working with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County on the “climate smart resiliency tool,” and “this workshop works really well in conjunction with that,” she added.

A meeting of interested community representatives will set up the workshop, which will take place in the fall. Vail suggested July 23 or 24 as a date for that meeting. 

Speed bumps at the beach?

People driving down South Partition Street to the village beach speed down the narrow extension of Partition Street at 30 to 40 miles an hour Ed Hunlock told the village board. “There’s a new generation of kids coming up;” Hunlock said. “ I have little grandkids and we all know that sometimes they get a step or two ahead of us, and it could be a big problem. Same thing with animals, somebody’s got a cat or a dog they can get out, they can get in the road.”
 Hunlock asked the board to consider ways of preventing the speeding on the short street.

Mayor Bill Murphy said that after speaking to Hunlock earlier, “my office decided to research speed bumps – the legality of speed bumps in New York State – and I was surprised to find that they are illegal on state roads, but not prohibited on local roads.”

While there are restrictions on the types of speed bumps a town may install, Murphy said. The restriction would apply only to the short section of Partition Street that extends to the beach. Murphy asked Hunlock to get opinions from his neighbors to be sure the village would not be creating a problem for them.

On another beach-related matter, Hunlock said people bring their dogs to the beach despite signs indicating they are not allowed. “The dogs relieve themselves on the beach, and the owners don’t always pick it up,” he reported. Could the village arrange for a police officer stop by the beach occasionally and warn people that dogs were prohibited there? He also suggested the lifeguards tell people that dogs were prohibited.

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