Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Latest Word on the Colarusso Purchase

A highly placed source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, just informed Gossips that A. Colarusso & Sons has purchased the port. It seems there will be no end of gravel in our future.



  1. too bad that holcim didnt give the city a chance to buy the port. does the city have to allow it ?

    1. The city has no choice but to allow a sale. Exactly three years ago, however, we passed up an opportunity to better regulate the uses that go with the property.

      Unfortunately, when the Common Council changed the zoning to accommodate the now-defunct waterfront plan, the aldermen weren't too interested in anything that didn't favor Holcim's plans.

      Worse than that, when it came time for a Public Hearing on the new zoning almost nobody showed up. It was as though the public had boycotted its one official opportunity to object.

      Hudson's greatest problem is citizen apathy.

      Your question should be asking whether or not the public has to "allow" the uses?

      Well, it does now.

  2. Holcim/St. Lawrence was not very nice, and we weren't nice to them.

    So the mining itself wasn't as bad as the neighbors, and the mining wasn't going to end anyway until the rock was all gone. And that's a long, long time away.

    Seeing as though Holcim and St. Lawrence were one and the same, on balance this sale could be a positive change for Hudson. It's not impossible that the Colarussos will be better neighbors, even though the extraction and transport of gravel will be roughly same. Or will it?

    Perhaps the Colarussos have a different view than their predecessors about building a conveyor system to stretch from Becraft Mountain to the port. That idea required special zoning, which was one of the few tangibles produced by the city's otherwise failed waterfront plan, the LWRP. (It goes without saying that the public was serially misled by the council and others on the provisions for that conveyor system, but that's another story for another time.)

    Becraft's high-friction limestone is used on road surfaces throughout Columbia County; it's a valued material and we all benefit from it. This has to be acknowledged.

    That leaves the rock that's shipped out from the port, and the how the exporting of gravel impacts Hudson's neighborhoods, waterfront, and infrastructure.

    If the Colarussos have no intention of honoring the terms of the city's ill-gotten LWRP, then inasmuch as those terms were provided by Holcim itself the Colarussos are already better neighbors.

    But if Holcim didn't honor its own commitments to the LWRP, maybe it wasn't all bad after all?

    Don't believe it. It was all self-interest with that lot, and the degree to which City Hall and the Common Council were eating out of their hands was a thing to behold.


  3. "Don't believe it. It was all self-interest with that lot, and the degree to which City Hall and the Common Council were eating out of their hands was a thing to behold."

    says it all

  4. There was no evidence on file with the County Clerk’s office as of Wednesday morning to reflect a sale. Rather, there is extensive evidence of Colarusso acquiring easements, leases, mining rights, etc. from Holcim. Unless the source is prepared to be more specific, or until new paperwork is filed, Holcim remains the owner of record.

  5. Odd that a "river city" allows an easement for stone to flow freely while denying county fisherfolk the "unfettered access" required, under federal law.

  6. Seems very odd that Holcim would sell the waterfront dock and retain ownership of the quarry. The value of their holdings is much greater if the dock is under their control. I'm not so sure the 'highly-placed source' has it right.

    1. In January 2013, when Holcim first signaled its intention to abandon the land transfer to the city, it turned its back on a deal that was necessary for state and federal authorization of the waterfront plan, the "LWRP."

      At that time anyway, it was understood that all of Holcim's properties in Hudson and Greenport were to be sold to a private party.

      Holcim's message was understood by the mayor's counsel to mean that the land transfer which was so desired by the mayor and the Common Council could still take place, but only after the sale.

      Surely Holcim still intends to rid itself of all its local holdings.