Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grant Applications and Proposed Projects

TEP Grant  Some clarity was achieved about the TEP (Transportation Enhancements Program) grant at Wednesday night's public hearing. The grant, intended for bicycle paths and sidewalks leading to and from Charles Williams Park and connecting to Harry Howard Avenue, was awarded on 2007, but it is a reimbursement grant, and the City has not yet spent the money. Now the City is poised to do so. The plan includes bicycle lanes and signage on Front and Dock streets, "Share the Road" signage on Mill Street, repaving the old Dugway Road for pedestrians and nonmotorzied vehicles, and sidewalks along the west side of Harry Howard Avenue from Washington Street to around the entrance to the Firemen's Home ball fields.

The Safe Routes to School grant, which the City is pursuing in collaboration with the Hudson City School District and the Town of Greenport, would continue the sidewalk along Harry Howard Avenue to the high school and, in Greenport, along Joslen Boulevard to Livingston Parkway.

EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant  Even before the hearing about this grant began, Bill Roehr of TGW Consultants, made a point of assuring Gossips that using the site as an entrance and parking area for the North Bay Recreation Area being planned by the Columbia Land Conservancy does not preclude using part of it for a dog park. There is plenty of room for everything. 

The plan is to demolish what remains of the existing structures on the site and then cap it, covering it first with an impermeable geotextile material and then covering that with a foot of soil and gravel. To carry out this remediation, the City is applying for a $200,000 grant. Although Roehr is confident that the City's proposal is a strong one, the grant program is "very competitive." There is $15 million available for the entire country, and only 72 grants will be awarded. 

On the topic of dog parks, Gossips recently learned from a reader that ground has been broken for the new Beacon Dog Park--funded entirely, as my source put it, by "generous souls."


  1. 1.

    It struck me at the hearing that the city's grant-writer was merely going through the motions to try for this "very competitive" EPA grant (read: highly unlikely). He probably knows better than anyone.

    At one point the gentleman acknowledged that the public hearing was meant to help hone the application upon which the public was commenting. Wouldn't it be appropriate, I asked, for there to be a second hearing after changes are made to a draft application which is to all appearances a rudimentary sketch. Following a pause in which the man looked nonplussed, I was informed that the public was meant to comment on the content of the application, and not the form itself. This led me to comment that the hearing was premature.

    I'd like the city to get this grant, but don't get your hopes up.


    For anyone with an interest, on the final page (p. 11) of the following HCDPA Financial Statement Audit Report, dated 9/30/11, is a description of the DOT TEP Grant.

    "The total amount of this grant from NYS DOT is $240,000, or eighty percent (80%) of the total $300,000 of anticipated expenditures."

    This grant should be monitored very carefully by residents.

  2. I wonder what type of pollution is/was there that required a cap and new soil. Anyone know what was there?

  3. I wonder what type of pollution is/was there that required a cap and new soil. Anyone know what was there?

  4. Good question, SlowArt.

    The paucity of information on the actual suspected contaminants at the site deserves a public comment from someone. There must be more to the picture than what we can learn from the non-publicly conducted BOA program.

    Below are the only references in either BOA application (one to the state, one to the fed) as to what actually needs to be remediated at the site.

    "Fosters Refrigeration site, an identified and mostly remediated brownfield site ... "

    "Presently, the remaining building on the parcel is partially demolished and the debris is considered to contain friable asbestos."

    "May 24 ,1991. NYSDEC Spill Report. Compressor Oil - Unknown Amount, Waste Oil - 25 Gal. Spill Closed: August 1, 1991.

    "March 1997. Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment. Crawford and Associates
    Underground Storage Tanks."

    "NYSDEC Record of Decision - June 2007"

    "Federal CERCLIS NFRAP site List: CERC-NFRAP-CERCLIS No Further Remedial Action Planned"

    1. This part of my Public comment, I e-mailed in last Sun. as I could not attend meeting.All hazardous waste info. is from Grant Ap.Draft,on-line.In()are mine.
      From Grant Proposal.
      "Fosters Refrigeration Site --
      Represents the parcels with the single most serious known contamination within the community.
      The Record of Decision places extremely strict redevelopment limitations on the parcel,
      thus rendering the parcel especially unusable for productive economic reuse.
      Presently,the remaining building on the parcel is partially demolished and the debris is considered to contain friable asbestos.
      The 0.5 acre lot is owned by
      the City of Hudson and, given its strategic location,the site represents an opportunity to create a
      parking area and entrance into the North Bay conservation area."
      (This following part of Grant Proposal, does not mention demolition of building or it's disposal into hazardous waste site.
      The remaining building on the parcel is partially demolished and the debris is considered to contain friable asbestos,
      -plus where did all that lead and PCB come from?)
      (what grant recommended,
      out of 4 alternatives
      -and 2nd least expensive
      .Least expensive - is doing nothing.
      If left as is Present Worth:$37,000)
      "Alternative 4:Excavation and Off-Site Disposal
      (recommended by Grant Writers)
      Approximately 2600 cubic yards (cu.yds.) of lead
      contaminated soil will be excavated for off site disposal. Based on the results from the toxicity characteristics leaching procedure and other
      chemical analyses, it is estimated that all the excavated soil
      will be disposed in a hazardous waste landfill.
      In addition to this, approximately 100 cu. yds. of PCB contaminated
      soil will be excavated under the slab of the building
      and disposed in a hazardous waste landfill.
      The clean up goals used for the
      of lead contaminated soil is 1000 ppm
      and the PCB contaminated soil is 1 ppm.
      Collect and analyze confirmatory samples
      to verify that the clean up goals have been achieved.
      Place a demarcation layer at the bottom of each excavation area.
      Collect a representative number of surface soil samples
      to verify remaining site surface soil meets clean up goals.
      *Present Worth: $950,600
      Capital Cost: $913,000
      OM&M Present Cost: $37,600
      Annual OM&M Cost: $5,000
      ( Only definition I can find is: Operation, Maintenance and Management)
      Time to Implement: 6 months"
      * " The present worth represents the amount of money
      invested in the current year that would be sufficient
      to cover all present and future costs
      associated with the alternative.
      This enables the costs of remedial alternatives to be compared on a common basis.
      As a convention, a time frame of 30 years is used to evaluate present worth
      costs for alternatives with an indefinite duration."

  5. You're right Prison Alley, "lead" and "PCB" are indeed cited.

    I had done a search for everything related to "Foster's" and "Fosters," but not "Foster." (The spelling throughout both applications is atrocious.)

    Lead and PCB are not mentioned at all in relation to that site in the state BOA application.

  6. A closer study of the more technical "parcel data sheets" in the BOA application to the NYS Department of State (DOS) turns up only very basic information about these properties derived from sources that are publicly available. Most of the maps I already had on my computer.

    If you remove the site photos and the maps, you're left with three pages of forms with many of the fields left blank for unknown reasons.

    The grant-writers filled in things like tax status, acreage, number of buildings, square footage, sewer description and whether there's a gas hook-up.

    But where the actual brownfields-related information should appear, under the heading "Environmental Condition," if there's anything at all there might be a three-word reference from the Peter Stott book, "Looking for Work" (they spell Stott's name wrong), or a brief description from the DEC "spill reports," such as the one I transcribed above.

    Is that really enough? One person could have put the application together in two or three weeks, and the mistakes show. If it were an academic paper, it would merit a grade no higher than a "C."

    Even the zoning districts listed for the parcels are outdated.

    I'm only realizing since submitting my public comments that there's hardly any data in the Parcel Data Sheets.

    In the entire city, and apart from Prison Alley, it appears that only the Furgarians have taken a close look at the DOS application. (The Furgary site is not included in either BOA application.)

    Must we wait until after a hack job comes to ruins before we take an interest, until the moment it becomes clear that future grants are foreclosed because we weren't able to complete the first one?

    In September the Common Council committed into law that "the applicant will complete the [brownfields] project." But the brownfields project is inseparable from the accomplishment of the Columbia Land Conservancy's "Concept Master Plan," a plan which the city has specifically avoided formally endorsing.

    As I pointed out for the benefit of the state in my public comments, the city can't have it both ways.