Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Highlights of Last Night's Common Council Meeting

New Local Law A law making it illegal for truck drivers to practice engine braking--or "jake braking"--in the City of Hudson was passed unanimously by the Common Council. The law was the initiative of Third Ward Alderman Ellen Thurston.

PARC Park Megan Wurth of the PARC Foundation shared with the Council the plans for completing the linear park that was envisioned when the first stage of the park on Warren Street across from the Hudson Opera House was officially opened in 2007. The park will eventually extend from Warren Street to State Street in the 300 block, ending next to 325-327 State Street, the house now owned by Housing Resources.

The designs for the park will be on display at 330 Warren Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 21. Representatives from the PARC Foundation will be present to hear comments and suggestions from the community.

Army Corps Contaminant Study When the meeting was opened for new business, Alderman Geeta Cheddie (First Ward) brandished a copy of the Register-Star that contained the article about the proposed Army Corps of Engineers study of the contaminants in South Bay: "South Bay eligible for Army Corps water flow, contaminant study." Cheddie wanted to know: "Why are we doing this?"

When Common Council President Don Moore explained that the study proposed was a reconnaissance study, "a preliminary study to understand what development could happen down there," Cheddie said: "Most people who have lived here a long time will say South Bay is very contaminated. What will we do if we find out that it's contaminated, as we already know it's contaminated?"

Moore reiterated that the study was an essential first step in assessing how the wetland could be restored and for what use. Cheddie continued her questioning, making a point, it seemed, of referring to South Bay as "the swamp" and revealing her main concern about the study: "What does it mean for the LWRP and the O&G causeway? Will it stop or delay the LWRP?" Moore explained out that restoration of the wetland would have to deal with existing uses.

All That Salt Another item of new business: Alderman Sarah Sterling (First Ward) reported that in 1996 the Hudson Planning Commission had granted a conditional use permit for salt that was brought in by barge to be stored on the SLC dock. She suggested that since the salt was no longer coming in on the water but was being trucked in and trucked out that the use had changed and the parties involved needed to go back before the Planning Commission for a review of the activities now being conducted there.


  1. Perhaps Geeta Cheddie should spend some time actually reading the LWRP document. It proposes that the City of Hudson acquire most of South Bay from Holcim. Therefore, a survey of the potential contaminants is absolutely necessary. The City cannot afford to take on legal liability for a multi-million dollar cleanup job. What kind of Alderman would expose the City to that level of risk?

  2. An alderman who cares not at all for her ward, and only wants to do what her friends at TSL tell her?

  3. Roberts>Mussman>Cheddie>Musall=Deadend!

  4. gossips...
    continual thanks for the news...
    if the city is to acquire something from holcim how much
    will this cost? i never hear about the possible costs involved in
    procuring new property for the town in all the debate.

  5. Anonymous: I would say you never hear about the possible costs for two reasons: A price has never been set for South Bay, and no one is proposing that it be purchased with money out of the City's own budget.

    In the LWRP discussions, it was suggested that Holcim really has no use for South Bay, beyond their very narrow interest in the old railroad bed--the "causeway"--as a means to get stone from the quarry to the river, and perhaps they might be willing to give the land to the City. There have also, from time to time, been suggestions that Scenic Hudson, Open Space Institute, Columbia Land Conservancy, or some combination of those not-for-profits might be interested in acquiring the wetland.

    I think it's a mistake to limit our vision for the waterfront by worrying how the City, using only its own limited resources, could finance the vision.

  6. Thank you for those comments, Carole. To have the waterfront reach its full potential people must look outside the box and reach for what might be available in terms of change and funds to make change happen. A stretch is required and the community made aware of the possibilities.

  7. am so appreciative of the great reporting, thoughtful comments and replies.
    i applaud the big thinking of the "vision" and am very supportive but it seems
    that the other components should now come into line. the acquisition of the property seems to be one big unknown hurdle with a lot of could's, if's and hopes. i have learned that those might win elections but won't be taken as a deposit at any bank.

  8. Patrick here.....our common council President has taken this responsibility of the waterfront to a new level . He has earned our trust and support . This study is just one piece of the puzzle . I know for a fact that Don has read and continues to read the documents .

    this is not simple problem ...there is not a simple solution

    but if the concerned parties read the documents they would find many answers to the issues .
    for instance read the Harbor Management guidelines just 9 pages ....the state has many guidelines and publications worth reading

    for what its worth