BY BRANDON GUBITOSA
The Stony Point Town Board held its only meeting for the month of august on Tuesday, August 9. Two major topics were discussed amongst members during the board meeting. The first was the refinance of two bonds representing $7.6 million of debt. The new proposed rates would save the town close to a million dollars over the next 15 years.
The second topic discussed was a resolution opposing the Coast Guard Anchorage Grounds, which passed the town board 4-0. Supervisor Jim Monaghan is on vacation, but he told the Rockland County Times he was supportive of the resolution and asked the board to vote on it in his absence.
The U.S. Coast Guard recently announced a proposal to establish a large number of anchorage grounds for commercial vessels in the Hudson River. One location the barges will be placed is in the waters off Tomkins Cove covering close to 98 acres. This area would serve as a storage area for vessels heading to New York City.
Town Board and residents voiced their concerns over the effects it would have on the scenic views and the boating traffic along the shore. Due to multiple deadly crashes at the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site, concerns were also raised about safety and how these vessels would be illuminated at night. Questions were also raised as to why this is being proposed now during the summer while many residents are on vacation.
The Town of Stony Point learned about this proposal from other groups and not the U.S. Coast Guard. One of Stony Point’s historical landmarks is the Stony Point Lighthouse and Battlefield which sits on the banks of the Hudson, which would overlook these vessels. There were also concerns raised by Councilman Tom Basile regarding the impact it would have on local marinas. He was also concerned with the storage of hazardous materials by these vessels.
Tomkins Cove is not the only area that will be affected by this anchorage. There are currently only two official anchorage grounds at Yonkers and Hyde Park. Additional ones are proposed for Kingston Flats South, Port Ewen, Big Rock Point, Milton, Roseton, Marlboro, Newburgh, Tompkins Cove, Montrose Point, and Yonkers. At this time the Coast Guard plans on placing 43 berths in 10 different areas of Hudson River.