When the resolution was first introduced at the July Common Council meeting, there was a great hue and cry from the aldermen. It was originally estimated that the testing would cost $4,500, but Ambient had advised the City that, because of the extent of the testing needed, it is going to cost $11,262. Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) called it a waste of money. "We know it's dirty," he asserted, speaking of the entire Furgary site. At that meeting, it was decided to defer voting on the resolution until an estimate for the demolition, based on the assumption that everything to be knocked down and removed was hazardous waste, was obtained from Meyers Contracting. Alderman Nick Haddad (First Ward) volunteered to get that estimate.
Since the July meeting, a couple of things have happened. First, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) determined that the settlement of shacks now known as the Furgary Boat Club meets the eligibility criteria for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Then, thanks to the persistence of Timothy O'Connor, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) weighed in and made it clear that, because the shacks are located in a state-regulated wetland, a Freshwater Wetlands Permit would be required to remove them. At Tuesday's meeting, Council president Don Moore seemed to indicate that, if the City did not complete the appropriate testing, DEC would fine the City $2,000 per shack. The SHPO determination, however, was never mentioned, although Moore received the word of it on July 31, at the same time Gossips did.
When the Council voted on the resolution, Friedman, who had called it a waste of money, abstained, and Haddad, who had volunteered to get the estimate from Meyers, voted no. The rest of the members present voted yes, and the resolution passed.
So far, to Gossips knowledge anyway, the Common Council has not publicly acknowledged the SHPO determination or discussed its ramifications.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK