The next item in Perry's report is testimony to the idea that one man's efforts can make a difference. It will be remembered that, a few years ago, Peter Jung spearheaded the project to restore the Gifford family grave site, where Hudson River School artist Sanford R. Gifford is buried.
Since completing that project, Jung has turned his attention to neglected grave sites in the vicinity of the Gifford family plot, pruning trees and cutting brush, with the knowledge, consent, and appreciation of Perry and cemetery clerk, Gail Grandinetti.
Jung's work in the cemetery led him to discover the adjacent abandoned Academy Hill playground, one of five municipal playgrounds that once existed throughout the city. Perry told the Public Works Committee last night that DPW crews had removed the piles of brush created by Jung's pruning and trimming in the cemetery and at the playground and suggested that "maybe the playground will be utilized again."
Perry also reported that DPW crews, together with buildings and grounds workers from the Hudson City School District, had cleaned the area that people had been using as a dump at the east end of Rope Alley. The picture below shows the site back in 2012 when Gossips did a post about the illegal dumping grounds in Hudson. Who knows how much more trash had accumulated in the intervening four years, but it's all clean now.
DPW workers have also been busy taking environmental samples from the property at 221-227 Tanners Lane, in accordance with the settlement the City has reached with property owner Heinrich Von Ritter.
When Perry had completed his report, committee member Abdus Miah (Second Ward) wanted to know when DPW workers would start building the ramp at Promenade Hill. Perry told him that he would have to reprice the project, because the cost of construction materials has gone up in the past two years. He also told Miah that the site work could not take place in the current weather conditions.
Supervisor Rick Scalera (Fifth Ward), who is a special adviser to the Galvan Foundation and whose daughter, Fourth Ward alderman Lauren Scalera, sits on the Public Works Committee, asked from the audience if "there was a number associated with the ramp in the grant application." When told that $60,000 had been allocated for the ramp in the application, he dismissed it as meaningless. He then asked Perry, "If you had more money, could you start tomorrow?" That question went unanswered, but when informed that the site was part of a National Register historic district and a locally designated historic district and therefore subject to review by the State Historic Preservation Office and Hudson's Historic Preservation Commission, he replied, "That could take two years." The implication seemed that all oversight would be waived for a temporary ramp.
|The plan for the ramp included in the most recent grant application|
Perry stressed the temporary nature of the ramp now being pursued. "The thing could be taken apart by lunch," he quipped. He added, however, "If you're going to spend the money, you'd like it to be permanent."
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