Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Highlights from City Hall

Waterfront Warehouse Last night's informal Common Council meeting began with President Don Moore reading from a letter received from Mark Greenberg, attorney for Eric Galloway, informing the Council that Galvan Partners was not interested in entering into an agreement to buy the former Dunn warehouse building at the waterfront. 

The topic was revisited toward the end of the meeting when Moore said that the City needed to consider which was more advantageous: the sale of the Dunn building alone or the development of the entire area bounded by Broad Street, Water Street, Ferry Street, and the railroad tracks--all of which is currently owned by the City of Hudson. He made reference to Scenic Hudson's publication Revitalizing Hudson Waterfronts and recommended it to members of the Council. The publication can be downloaded here.

True to form, Fifth Ward Alderman Robert "Doc" Donahue wanted to know if Galvan Partners had backed away because there were too many "hoops" to jump through. Moore informed him that without an adopted LWRP, there were no hoops at all on the waterfront.

River-facing Dock The lease between the City of Hudson and Hudson Cruises, Inc., operator of The Spirit of Hudson, was presented for the Council's consideration. According to the terms of the lease, Hudson Cruises will pay the City $500 for the use of half of the river-facing dock in 2011, and the amount will increase by $100 a year for each year during the five years of the lease. 

The lease also assigns some duties to the tenant: "Tenant agrees to be available 7 days a week from Mother's Day to October 31st and the rest of the year Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to open gates to the dock and organize and coordinate the docking of other large vessels. Tenant shall place a sign on the park property providing information as to how it can be contacted to perform these duties, include [sic] the phone number of President Guy Falkenheimer. Tenant will collect docking fees from boats using the dock at the rate of $1.00 per foot for a 24 hour period, with renewal for up to three days. Tenant will weekly turn in collected funds to the Treasurer's Office."

First Ward Alderman Sarah Sterling asked about the title "Dock Master," which presumably will be Falkenheimer's, pointing out that it did not appear in the lease. Moore said that the lease would be amended to include the title "Dock Master" before the Council votes next Tuesday to authorize the mayor to enter into the lease agreement with Hudson Cruises.

Sidewalks When the meeting was opened to comments from the public, a woman seated in the back row complained bitterly about the state of the sidewalk on the west side of Third Street between Warren Street and Prison Alley--along the side of 260 Warren Street, a building owned and being warehoused by Eric Galloway. She complained that the sidewalk was uneven and chronically covered with broken glass and pointed out that this is where kids stand and wait for the schoolbus.   

This complaint, which followed complaints about taxi companies operating out of residential neighborhoods, a mechanic's garage being illegally operated at Sixth and Prospect streets, allegedly with the knowledge of Code Enforcement Officer Peter Wurster, and thirteen abandoned cars parked in a lot off Prison Alley, led to a discussion of code enforcement. Second Ward Alderman Wanda Pertilla asked why the code enforcement officer is not required to report regularly to the Common Council the way the chief of police, the fire chief, and the superintendent of public works do. Moore acknowledged that it was a good idea and said he would invite Wurster to the next meeting of the Council.  

LWRP Moore mentioned that "sometime this week" he expects to set "tentative dates" for the Council to review and discuss the edited LWRP. 


  1. No area docks charge $1 per foot for a 24 hour period. These docks were supposed to offer visitors a water entry to visit Hudson businesses. Now, there are going to be charged by the hour? Catskill docks are free, and so are Athens. $500 per year for Spirit of the Hudson is incredibly low. The going rate for full time slips in Catskill and Athens is $45 per foot per season. Whereas, the Power boat Assoc is a private membership and offers discount rates of $10 per foot per season of thereabouts. All I'm saying is that the Spirit is good for Hudson, but people should not have to pay by the day. That said, there are people like myself who would also gladly pay $500 for the season, and my boat is only 20'. This clearly needs to be rethought.

  2. A dollar per foot per day would amount to $24 for for a 24' boat, which equals $8760 for a year's lease. Whereas the Spirit of Hudson is a nice thing for Hudson, its lease of $500 per year seems ridiculously low for a prime spot on the river, when small sail boats are being charged the above. Welcome to The Friendly City!