Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's Buy the Dock!

Among the resolutions introduced at tonight's informal Common Council meeting was this quite unexpected one: "A Resolution to Authorize the Mayor to Negotitate with Holcim Cement Company for the Purchase of Their Property in the City of Hudson." The resolution was proposed by First Ward Alderman Sarah Sterling, and because all resolutions, except those introduced by the Common Council President, must pass through a committee, this one was assigned to the Legal Committee, chaired by Third Ward Alderman Ellen Thurston.  

Given its goal, this resolution deserves to be quoted in its entirety:

WHEREAS, the City of Hudson in its proposed Local Waterfront Revitalization Program has recognized the importance of the waterfront, especially the area of the deep water port, to the future economic development of the City of Hudson; and
WHEREAS, the proposed LWRP states that "the City supports the continued operation of this port, preferably under the ownership and control of the City of Hudson"; and
WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Hudson believes that revitalization of the City's waterfront is critical to the City's continued economic growth and the health and welfare of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the Holcim Cement Company which owns the deep water port dock that could be an important part of the revitalization of the waterfront has declared that the value of their property in the City of Hudson is actually worth $1.5 million not the current assessed value of $4.5 million and they also report no income from the property despite the evidence of continued delivery of aggregate by trucks through the City to the dock for shipment by barge; and
WHEREAS, the City of Hudson deems that at this time it would be in the City's best interest to acquire this property;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Council of the City of Hudson authorizes the Mayor to enter into negotiations with Holcim Cement Company for the purchase of said property at the company's stated worth of $1.5 million with the purchase monies to be raised by a combination of private donations, grant monies, loans and/or bonds.

The only question about the resolution was raised by the other First Ward alderman, Geeta Cheddie, who obviously hadn't read the resolution to the end and wanted to know where the $1.5 million was going to come from.

We spent $10 million for a new water treatment plant. We're spending $11 million for a new wastewater treatment plant. Buying the dock would be the best $1.5 million the City of Hudson has ever spent.

The Legal Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 26, at 6 p.m., unless the schedule of meetings for 2011 has changed from 2010, which is entirely possible. Check the City of Hudson website to be sure. 


  1. Holy-moly, batman. What great news.

  2. $1.5 million is beer money compared to what that waterfront is worth. We could raise that amount in less than two weeks.

    Bravo, Sarah Sterling!

  3. What an absolutely brilliant idea!!! Bravo Sarah Sterling! That dock and the 4 acres that surround it being saved and developed into parks, recreation, hotel, docks for visiting boats and ships is the single most important factor in furthering the revitalization of Hudson, its waterfront and the county. Think jobs, income from rental of the space and businesses that would flourish. 1.5m is a drop in the bucket - thank you Holcim for giving us what you consider it's true value. To the citizens of Hudson it is PRICELESS!!!

  4. What if Holcim doesn't want to sell the property?

    Is it for sale?

    -- Jock Spivy

  5. A private party buying a $1.5 million property might pay approx. $80-$90K per year on a 30-year mortgage. That's what, about 1% of the current annual City budget? And of course municipalities can get lower-interest loans, issue bone's, get grants and other State/Federal aid... So the actual cost ought to be lower. Seems like a no-brainer.

    --Sam P.

  6. Bravo, Sarah! Our waterfront is truly central to the revitalization of Hudson. This is great news.

  7. Fantastic possibility! Get the money. do the purchase. Holcim set their own price didn't they? I have also heard(many hands away) that Kosco(?) is removing the tanks from the Catskill waterfront. If that happens Catskill will be much more competitive.

  8. Well bravo Sarah! Finally a concrete and sensible resolution regarding the waterfront. I wish the Mayor great success with his negotiations. Does he have a negotiating team? I hope Holcim won't be obdurate and insist on keeping it. Scenic Hudson, Holcim,O&G and the City of Hudson have already had some discussions regarding the South Bay. Scenic Hudson stated that at that point in time Holcim was not interested and that they, Scenic Hudson, only work with willing sellers. Perhaps the Mayor can now do some arm-twisting, since they think their land is worth so little.
    Go Mayor!

  9. Only thing left to consider is when the sea level rises, the whole thing is going to be underwater!

  10. That would be the smartest and the best contribution our elected officals ever did for the City of Hudson, since its founding!!! It would truly be outstanding.