Thursday, July 23, 2015

More About Tuesday's Meeting: Part 2

Many of the issues before the Council on Tuesday night shared a common theme: North Bay. The next issue is one of those: the Furgary Boat Club.

In May, the Council passed a resolution authorizing Ambient Environmental, Inc., to complete asbestos and lead-based paint testing on the shacks at the Furgary Boat Club. That resolution indicated that the amount to be paid for this testing would not exceed $4,500. As it happens, Ambient has taken more than a hundred samples from the site, from layer upon layer of building materials, and has now upped the cost of doing the analysis to $11,262. A resolution was before the Council on Tuesday to authorize taking the addition $6,762 from the fund balance, but the aldermen balked at passing it.

The goal of doing environmental testing was the possibility of avoiding the cost of demolition by having the structures razed by DPW workers. The alternative, Council president Don Moore explained, was to "contract it out and treat it all as hazardous waste."

Observing that the new amount nearly trebled the original amount, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) declared it a waste of money. "We know it's dirty," he argued.

It was decided that the Council would get an estimate from Meyers Contracting for the demolition, treating everything on the site as hazardous waste, and any action on the resolution authorizing more money for asbestos and lead-based paint testing would be deferred until an estimate for demolition was obtained.

Meanwhile, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has not yet produced its findings on the eligibility of the site or any part of it for historic designation. A representative of SHPO visited the site in October 2014, but no official findings could be released because no one had filed a formal request for determination of eligibility. Upon discovering this back in May, Gossips, acting as an interested third party, filed a formal request through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Cultural Resource Information System. The request was deemed complete and assigned a project number (15PRO2455) on May 19. Two months later, there is still no word from SHPO, and time is running out.


  1. it wouldn't cost anything, not a penny, to give the area back to the citizens who have been using the area for generations. or, since it was planners from the land conservancy who erased the shacks in favor of a gazebo, let the land conservancy pay for demolition.

    1. It would just be illegal under state law. And, frankly, those "citizens" mostly didn't live in Hudson (at least not anymore) and held it like private property, keeping all the actual citizens (and other residents of the actual City of Hudson) from using the North Bay waterfront.

    2. How is Power Boat any different?

      My understanding is that unlimited use belongs to the stewards and others flow through freely.

    3. The objective should be maxim use and minimal cost, not ownership.

    4. "The duty of the place"

      A federal waterway is governed by the Coast Guard. They in turn give authority to rule the land beneath it to the Army Engineers. ACE makes only one exception about who occupies that land; "stewardship that promotes Navigation."

      Minimum use of the North dock is achieved when county fishermen open up the wharf, as soon as there is open water in March, and hunters close it down in December when the Lady Faithful becomes frigid.

      That is citizen synergy, something this city's council will never achieve while "blaming" fishermen and duck hunters for getting there first and doing what comes naturally to people everywhere.

      1 Riparian

  2. It would not be illegal under State law to lease an onshore facility (read: shack) to a commercially-licensed boating facility, either for pleasure boating, or for hunting and fishing purposes.

    The Furgarians have no shortage of captain's licenses (and even paid-up commercial fishing licenses for Shad, which are no longer useful).

    In fact, State policy favors such sports-fishing outfits, and favors all other traditional continuities of the outdoor life.

    Someone who didn't have firsthand knowledge of such things might not know that the Coastal Policy stretches far beyond the limits of a single municipality in these matters. Because the quarry swims and flies, and because people are willing to travel great distances to fish and shoot, the Policy is broader than any mere residency requirement for the kinds of facilities that cater to these traditions. Conversely, when considering the adverse impacts of an action which might diminish these same traditions, lost income from faraway places is a big one.

    Such are the customs, traditions, laws, and policies which are generally loathed by those who fashion themselves as Enlightened Ones. It's the damndest thing, but for some of us it's frequently a real challenge to discern the expressions of such enlightenment from plain mean-spiritedness.

  3. From the NOR:
    What public activities can government agencies lawfully restrict?
    They can and must prohibit or restrict activities that conflict with the Public Trust Doctrine. What is known as "responsible recreation" must be allowed, but offensive or destructive activities can be limited to certain areas or prohibited altogether. Leaving trash, building fires, and making noise can and should be limited or prohibited as appropriate for the area.

    State and local restrictions on river use have to be legitimately related to enhancing public trust value, not reducing it. Rivers cannot be closed or partially closed to appease adjacent landowners, fishermen who want to dedicate the river to fishing only, or to make life easier for local law enforcement agencies.

    - See more at:

    1. Someday, the right kind of enlightened thinking will legislate that nonsense into oblivion (pesky Magna Carta!).

  4. "The interest of man must be connected to the duty of the place." A Lincoln