For almost the entire first half of 2013, the City of Hudson negotiated with Holcim to get ownership of a parcel of land--slightly less than 10 acres--south of the port. The land transfer was necessary, we were given to believe, if the City was to get state and federal approval of its LWRP (Local Waterfront Revitalization Program). The City seemed amenable to making a fifty-year commitment in order to achieve this end, but it turned out that Holcim was unwilling to sign the agreement that they themselves had crafted.
In June, the Valley Alliance made public a surprising discovery: 4.4 acres of the sought-after land already belonged to the City. Back in 1981, the City had done a land swap with Holcim, then St. Lawrence Cement, and because it was--then as now--illegal for the City to divest itself of waterfront land, the transaction that transferred the ownership of that parcel in 1981 was null and void. The City still owned the 4.4 acres.
The City was skeptical about the discovery and spent months vetting the Valley Alliance's research. Finally, on October 15, Common Council president Don Moore announced, in an offhand way at the beginning of a Council meeting, that the City's investigations had determined that the Valley Alliance was right. Of the 9.96 acres the City was negotiating with Holcim to acquire, 4.4 acres already belonged to the City.
Since October, the ramifications of this discovery--for the proposed land transfer with Holcim or for the LWRP--have never been discussed in a public meeting, but yesterday a Gossips reader reported that something is happening on that land. Brush has been bulldozed, and gravel is being laid down.
The activity is going on in the area that presumably is still owned by the City of Hudson. The question is: Who is doing this and why?
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK
The map showing the location of the 4.4 acres was created by the Valley Alliance. This map was also used to show the location of the current activity.