Today, John Mason picks up the story in the Register-Star: "Sailing biz looks to dock in city." For his article, Mason spoke with Mayor Hallenbeck, who could not recall reading the April 6 email from Branigan which made the proposal, and Council president Don Moore, who is quoted as saying, "From what I know, Mr. Branigan's proposed use is no different from any other boat owner requesting to have year-round or season-long docking at the waterfront."
Here is the text of the email Branigan sent to Hallenbeck and Moore:
Mayor, Common Council President,
Hello again. I am a licensed and USCG certified charter boat captain. I am still interested in gaining access to the back (south end) of the SOH [Spirit of Hudson] dock to offer sailboat charters. I would like to pay $30 per foot per season, or $930.00 for such an arrangement. If it is not legal now, then I fail to understand what SOH is doing there. I ask you to present this offer to the Common Council for a vote. If you cannot legally rent the dock to me, perhaps you can give it to me until you iron out the details. Guy and SOH have a wonderful deal, and a well deserved one. But times have changed, and Hudson taxpayers deserve more. Hudson taxpayers deserve transparency. They deserve income to offset the work of the dock haul-in and haul-out. I do not ask for electric from the city like SOH has. I do not ask for a place for an ice machine like SOH has. I do not ask for anything without paying for it. I only ask that you allow my 31-foot sailboat, Teja, to operate as a charter vessel, sharing the dock with SOH. I will of course provide insurance and an additionally insured policy. It is my hope that this can be resolved prior to the river season. SOH has enjoyed a long run, but now is the time to open up the waterfront to more than one charter. I hope that you agree.
Capt BrianSince Mason's article was published, Gossips heard from Steve Walsh, who wanted to correct some of the information in Branigan's email and in Mason's article. Walsh began by pointing out that Hudson Cruises, which owns the Spirit of Hudson, has been operating on the Hudson waterfront for eleven years. In response to Branigan's assertion that Hudson taxpayers "deserve income to offset the work of the dock haul-in and haul-out," Walsh told Gossips that "Guy [Falkenheimer] from SOH helps the City with haul in and haul out of the docks every year utilizing his tour boat and services free of charge moving the docks to facilitate install of docks since the City doesn't have a boat to do such install. Also SOH does some repair and maintenance work on all the dock[s] free of charge to the City."
Walsh also corrected Branigan's information about the number of certified U.S. Coast Guard captains in this part of the Hudson Valley. Mason's article reports Branigan as saying there are only six to eight, and he is one of them. According to Walsh, there are about forty, and that number includes Walsh himself.
It will be interesting to see if a resolution can be reached that would permit the cruise boat and chartered sloop to share the dock.
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