Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Happened to the Dog Park?

Back in April, Mayor William Hallenbeck proposed that the site of the old Foster's Refrigeration could be used as a dog park. The site had lots of space, a chain link fence, and an already existing water supply. Advocates for a dog park were enthusiastic about the location. The only problem was that cleaning it up for the purpose was going to cost around $200,000--money the City did not have.

So today we read in the Register-Star that the City is applying for a $200,000 EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant for the Foster's site, but according to Bill Roehr, of TGW Consultants, "The thing we'd really like is to work with the Columbia Land Conservancy on this to take the site, which is pretty ugly and is a blighting influence, and do enough to provide for an environmental remedy" on order to turn the site into a parking area and entrance way to the hiking trails that are part of CLC's Concept Master Plan for North Bay. What happened to the dog park? Disappointed dogs want to know.

There is a public hearing on this grant application on Tuesday, November 13, at 6 p.m. The draft application can be reviewed online. This hearing will be preceded at 5:30 p.m. by a hearing about the City's application for a New York State Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) grant for pedestrian and bike connections to Charles Williams Park.


  1. I think there's been a mistake.

    Hudson's HDC, charged with coordinating the BOA project, reported a deadline for public comments on the same "Draft Application" which Gossips links to above. That deadline has come and gone.

    After staying up all night, I handed in what I considered to be an inferior product due to the deadline.

    Before the deadline, an HDC representative emailed these words to me:

    "I would like to have all materials, in hand, by Wednesday the 7th" [and] "Please know that if you unable to locate the map by Wednesday the 7th," [etc.].

    1. No mistake, unheimlich, just confusion. These are two different grants. The Brownfield Opportunity Area grant is for $157,500 to create a "master plan for green space along the waterfront," to "address the interrelation between LB, Basilica Hudson, and the Dunn warehouse" as it pertains to "movement and connections," and to create a "marketing plan" for the old Kaz warehouse, Tanners Lane, R&S, McGuire, and LB. The EPA Brownfield Cleanup grant is for $200,000 specifically for the purpose of finishing the cleanup of the Foster's Refrigeration site.

  2. Parking lots AGAIN
    -this time for HIKERS??
    Hike there, from our excessive amount of Parking lots,
    empty on weekends,
    that beautiful Historic Architecture,paid the ultimate sacrifice for.
    Oh what? ,they're too far away for the Hikers?
    They have meters?-well,just figure something out,for the massive amount of driving ,hikers.
    Taxpayer's own a parking lot on State and 4th Street,"City" plans to give away for next to nothing,to help close a 300k gap created by wasting our TAXES; through incompetence,or worse,Not collecting fees,fines and taxpayer's reimbursements of money fronted or stolen, taking Properties off of Tax Rolls, very questionable assessments/exemptions,and taxpayers paying for all these "CITY" half-baked, incompleted plans ,for yet to be seen ,projects.
    Now,here we go,with yet another one....

  3. Thanks Gossips. I see now.

    Those five sites are listed in "Figure 16" of the BOA application, under a subcategory "Market Analysis of Key Parcels." (Other aspects of the program are also listed on the same map.)

    You must have made the connection at the public hearing between the Figure 16 map and grant-writer Bill Roehr's new map created for the hearing. The new map was not within the application package, and that threw me at the time.

    Hey, we all have different aptitudes and mine is memorizing patterns. With a new map at the hearing, I simply wasn't able to incorporate the new information into the little I was already able to learn on my own from the online documents.

    With so much material to digest in a hurry, it was all too confusing. And that's the problem with how this program's been conducted so far, which is so typical of Hudson.

    For a process that was meant to include public participation all along, and for which the state recommendations on program "leadership" are interchangeable with those for the LWRP, this whole experience has been nothing but confusing.

    No wonder the public isn't involved, unless someone can give me some other reason.

  4. PA, you should definitely submit an official comment about that. Print out your exact words above, they're fine.

    Nobody is paying any attention to this program when we're all meant to participate in it.

    1. (I do not understand this Grant Proposal
      or where the $200,000 fits in.
      I need this explained to me,
      I do not see,how this can all be done safely,for $200,000
      Anything involving legal removal,transport,disposal,monitoring,and safely capping
      any hazard waste and toxic materials,soil is very expensive.
      It must be done in a highly controlled manner,
      by proven,ethical,specifically licensed,insured contractors)
      "Fosters Refrigeration Site
      Represents the parcels
      with the single most serious known
      contamination within the community"
      Gossips April 29th, 2012
      "The City made a formal request for bids on the demolition,
      and at last Wednesday's Public Works Committee meeting,
      DPW Superintendent Rob Perry reported on the bids received.
      They ranged from $120,000 to $228,440,
      the lowest being,according to Perry, twice what anyone imagined it would cost".
      (I can not find minutes for that meeting.Demolition-is all that is mentioned here)
      Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:30 am
      By Tom Casey Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
      The city is pursuing a $200,000 Brownfield Cleanup Grant
      through the federal Environmental Protection Agency
      that would cover the costs of demolition and removing and capping hazardous
      substances at the building located at 119 North Second St
      “Our proposed remedy here is to finish demolishing the structure,
      then cap the site with dirt and geotextile material,”
      said city grant writer and TGW Consultant Bill Roehr
      ( here-demolition,removing and capping is is included-for $ 200,000 grant.)

    2. 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. Great comment Prison Alley.

    Those questions wouldn't have occurred to me, which is exactly why the state created a program which is meant to include public input.

    Were the same points you made ever discussed by the BOA Steering Committee? There would be no way for the public to know that.

    I don't know about other municipalities, but Hudson has an abominable record for not heeding state recommendations on public participation while conducting programs that seek state aid.

    In Hudson's Charlie Butterworth era, the state regularly chastised the city for not conducting public reviews and comment periods. Albany would repeatedly reply in their various communications, "where are the required public comments"?

    If the LWRP wasn't the first example, it stands out as the greatest object lesson that the public can now be cut out of any equation and that Albany won't do a damned thing about it. It is common knowledge the DOS Division of Coastal Resources simply doesn't have the kind of money and staff it used to to be able to offer any resistance. (That was already the case during the development of our LWRP, which the BOA application draws too heavily upon.)

    This BOA business is a perfect illustration that Hudson's old bad habit has not gone away; public input is not meant to be formative, but is only required at the end of any process, as the last item to check on someone's to-do list.

    Though it may all be window dressing in the end, I still urge you to submit these comments, Prison Alley.

    For the general BOA application, my written comments came to 22 typed pages with 22 exhibits. Without going into any detail, I found little to admire in the application.

    1. I cannot make this meeting,but sent in my comments,on Sunday.