Wednesday, August 12, 2015

News from HDC: Local Projects

At the Hudson Development Corporation Quarterly Community Update Meeting on Tuesday, Sheena Salvino reported that Charles Williams Park was "all built out and complete." It's interesting to compare the original plan with the reality.


The actual build-out is only a fraction of what was originally proposed. There is no pond or rain garden, no dog run, no basketball court, no bocce or horseshoe court, no paved trail providing access from the north end of Third Street. Only two elements of the original plan--the playground and the picnic pavilion--were actually developed, and these are not positioned where originally proposed. One nice detail of the park, though, which was not part of the plan proposed nine years ago, is the solar panel, installed on the pavilion roof by Lotus Energy, which powers the lights in the park.

Although a substantial sum of public money was spent on this park, it is probably safe to say that Charles Williams Park is the most underutilized green space in all of Hudson. It may also be safe to say that most Hudsonians don't have a clue as to where it is.

The grant for the park was applied for and won during Dick Tracy's single term as mayor (2006-2007); work on the park commenced during Rick Scalera's last terms as mayor (2008-2011); now finally the build-out is complete in the final year of Bill Hallenbeck's second term in office.

Salvino also announced that an RFP (request for proposal) is soon to be issued for the former Kaz site at the confluence of Cross Street and Tanners Lane.

In her vision for the property, Salvino spoke of "transportation-oriented development" (which I took to mean hotel), community or public space, and green infrastructure. She also spoke of "business and housing opportunities" and "mixed-use development." The vision may change though. Salvino divulged she had only that day submitted the draft RFP to the HDC board.


  1. "The vision may change though."

    That would have been a suitable title for this Gossips post.

  2. I don't know Miss Salvino, and I believe her predecessor (Elmer Flood) left her holding a dirty stick but she did once state that she was looking to draw more business to town during the “slow” seasons…

    Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544 (1981) (It is unlawful to block the public easement for "sport fishing and duck hunting.").

    Her predecessor had much to do with (bragged about) closing down the North dock. The river’s primary users from October through May are duck hunters, trappers and fishermen.

    The new CEO of HDC may want to review the demographics for water sport enthusiasts and reconsider blocking the legal use of the wharf at North dock, during these "slow" seasons.

    1. Susan Troy submitted this response to the previous comment:

      Mr. Gallo, I just want to offer a correction:

      Ms. Salvino's predecessor was Peter Markou, an educated, thoughtful, professional public servant.
      I have never known Mr. Markou, during the time he was at the helm of HDC and/or HCDPA, nor afterward, publicly or privately, to speak disparagingly about the shacks.
      Actually, I can't recall a single time when he spoke about them at all.

      I think it's important to correct the record for two reasons:

      First, in Hudson, the truth seems to have morphed into this wily, elusive creature that can never be held onto for more than a few moments. When briefly captured, it should be thoroughly examined, so that it might be more easily recognized in the future.

      Secondly, every opponent waits for their adversary to falter, to make an error in judgment, to make an incorrect statement. When that happens, a serious opponent will seek to capitalize on the mistake by screaming from the rooftops, "See! He doesn't know what's he talking about!", and then offer up the correct information, in an attempt to invalidate every single statement, past and future, their rival has made, or will make.

      Now, that can't happen.

  3. Thank you for the correction Susan Troy, Apologies to Mr. Markou.. I'll have to bone up on the who's who of all these alphabet agencies trying to guide our city to prosperity.

    While Mr. Flood's comment "now we own it" still echos, the question remains; why would any economic development agency constrain the only economic activity taking place on the river, from October through May?

  4. Upon further consideration, a simple apology to Mr Markou isn't sufficient. Every member of the HDC & CEDC that was not against "the shacks" should share equal credit.

    After all, why would they stand with corrupt politicians and the (illegal) use of federal funds to deny the continuous and historical public use of north dock...

    Public trust: Martin v. Waddell, 41 U.S. 367 (1842). Freed from obstruction: Illinois Central v. Illinois, 146 U.S. (1892). Crime to block use of navigable rivers: 33 U.S. Code 403...

    Once again, thanks to Susan Troy for the correction. It is my firm belief that every member of the HDC & CEDC, that took the same courageous and unpopular stance should be publicly acknowledged for using "the shacks" as their rational for betraying the public trust.

    1 Riparian