Thursday, July 27, 2017

News from DPW

Rob Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, included a few of things of interest in his report to the Common Council Public Works Committee last night. First among them was that the funds have been released from the 2015 CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for the controversial sewer separation project, which would divert untreated storm water runoff into North Bay. Perry provided no information about when the work on the project would begin.

Perry also told the committee he had received the "Notice to Proceed" from the Department of Transportation to begin work on the preliminary design for the new Ferry Street Bridge. The contract with Creighton Manning, the engineering firm for the project, is expected to be signed this week, after which work will begin. Perry explained that the preliminary design represents about 60 percent of the design and does not include the above the roadway appearance of the bridge.

Photo: Paul Trantanella
Perry also shared the news that the federal governmentFEMA Region IIhas approved reimbursement to twenty-eight counties in New York, Columbia being among them, for emergency expenses incurred during Winter Storm Stella last March. Soon after the storm, Perry tallied the costs to the City for the cleanup at about $65,500. Last night, he speculated that the City might be reimbursed $40,000. This, he said, was a good thing, because there is only $6,000 left in the snow removal budget for 2017, which must get us through any snowstorms that may come our way in November and December.


  1. In 2015, City officials willfully committed fraud in order to obtain $600K for an environmentally irresponsible sewer separation project which was overwhelmingly criticized by residents.

    Then, the same officials knowingly covered up the fraud so that residents, the only ones who could detect the crime, would remain in ignorance.

    All of this and a much more were submitted in an exhaustive complaint to the Inspector General of HUD, one of the most routinely defrauded of federal agencies. HUD was then required to recommend the case to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, although we have no knowledge whether or not this required step was taken.

    Without further explanation, we now learn that the result of our efforts will be a release of funding.

    Congratulations to this marvelous web of crushing bureaucracies, particularly those highly placed officials at HUD. You are TOTAL CROOKS!! You were saved only by the public's failure to launch an Article 78 court challenge.

    Congratulations are also in order to Kite's Nest, who will now not have to defend the defenseless claim that it owns the lot at the southeast corner of Dock and North Front Streets. That's the only lot remaining in the city, as identified in the City's first sewer separation study in the 1980s, to install significant gray or green infrastructure to properly filter urban runoff.

    As explained to the Common Council by a previous City attorney in 2015, there's a closing window on polluting in the way the present plan intends, after which municipalities the size of Hudson will be required to implement gray or green infrastructure strategies.

    So really, congratulations to everyone except for the North Bay for securing a wrong-headed plan straight out of the 1940s, achieved only by committing fraud, which lands the City a measly $600,000 from a dysfunctional federal agency.

    This is a despicable moment. Hudson is despicable.

  2. Writing to the feds now, looking for answers.

    Why was the "Eight Step Decision Making Process" for wetlands not conducted when HUD itself had recommended it?

  3. Wait, why would we accept this money? Because it's money?

    It's dirty money obtained by cheating under a previous mayor whose people couldn't have cared less about the North Bay.

    Now HUD has skipped the review it recommended itself for the protection of wetlands:

    The sudden release of funds stinks of further corruption - perhaps a single phone call to the right office by a Congressman (let's say) who also couldn't care less about the North Bay.

    We must refuse this money for the sake of the North Bay, then design a proper sewer separation plan which befits the 21st century.