Mills won’t op­pose Hudson River an­chor­ages

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE news@free­manon­line.com

KINGSTON >> A res­o­lu­tion op­pos­ing new Hudson River an­chor­ages that crit­ics say would fill the Kingston Point Beach view­shed, as well as views at two lo­ca­tions along the town of Eso­pus shore­line, will not be em­braced by Alder­woman Maryann Mills.

At a Demo­cratic cau­cus Mon­day, Mills, D-Ward 7, said park­ing ar­eas for barges and tugs are needed for nav­i­ga­tional safety on the river.

“The tug com­pa­nies just want to be safe and use spots so that, if they had to an­chor due to bad weather, they can,” she said.

“One thing we have to remember (is) that we have a river that runs through the Hudson Val­ley,” Mills said. “If it weren’t for that river and the ac­cess to Kingston by the com­mer­cial ships over the past 300 years, Kingston would not be here.”

Mills added that eco­nomic con­cerns would also keep ves­sels from overus­ing the anchorage lo­ca­tions.

“A ship or a tug is like a truck,” she said. “If they are not mov­ing, they do not make money, so they do not want to sit idle and the tug own­ers want their (boats) to keep mov­ing be­cause of that and the last thing they want is for a tug and a barge to be an­chor­ing and have to pay the cost of man­power, usu­ally (a crew of) six peo­ple.”

Un­der the pro­posal sought by ship­ping in­dus­try of­fi­cials and un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by the U.S. Coast Guard, there would be 10 new anchorage lo­ca­tions. The four af­fect­ing Ul­ster County would be:

• Kingston Flats South Anchorage Ground, for up to three ves­sels, im­me­di­ately across the river from Kingston Point Beach.

• Port Ewen Anchorage Ground, which would al­low one ves­sel near two Eso­pus parks.

• Big Rock Point Anchorage Ground, south of Port Ewen, which would al­lo­cate space for four ves­sels near Eso­pus Mead­ows.

• Milton Anchorage Ground, which could be used by two ves­sels.

The res­o­lu­tion op­pos­ing the pro­posal con­tends the anchorage sites would con­flict with use of re­cre­ation sites.

“The long-term park­ing of barges in the Kingston Hub is an added risk ... as the pub­lic swim­ming beach, one of the only pub­lic swim­ming beaches on the Hudson, where swim­mers al­ready must leave the water when­ever a ves­sel passes due to the high wakes,” of­fi­cials wrote.

There is also con­cern that the an­chor­ages could da­m­age en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive ar­eas.

“The pro­posed anchorage Kingston Flats South is in the vicin­ity of ... large beds of sub­merged aquatic veg­e­ta­tion and glob­ally rare fresh­wa­ter tidal wet­lands at the mouth of the Ron­d­out (Creek) just to the west of this pro­posed anchorage,” ac­cord­ing to the res­o­lu­tion.

The U.S. Coast Guard is tak­ing com­ments un­til Dec. 6 on its web­site at https:// www.reg­u­la­tions.gov//com­ment?D=USCG-20160132-0001

Mills

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