Colarusso's proposal for a haul road from the quarry to the river came before the Greenport Planning Board on Tuesday night. Patrick Prendergast, the same person who presented the plan for O&G back in 2009-2010, presented it again last night, acknowledging that the plan was essentially unchanged since then. In fact, Prendergast quipped he'd been "hunting and pecking" through the documents he'd created in 2009 to change O&G to Colarusso.
Gossips remembers, as did at least one member of the Greenport Planning Board, that the NYS Department of Transportation had some unresolved concerns about gravel trucks crossing Route 9G and entering and exiting Route 9, but Prendergast told the Greenport Planning Board that DOT had approved the project in December 2010 (months after the project was before the Greenport Planning Board the first time), but O&G "never got a work permit from DOT." (The project never got site plan approval from the Greenport Planning Board in 2010 and never came before the Hudson Planning Board.) Prendergast told the Greenport Planning Board that Creighton Manning had done a traffic analysis of both the intersection of the proposed haul road and Route 9 and the intersection of the haul road and Route 9G--a study that would be submitted soon, as part of their application.
During the course of the discussion, some interesting things were revealed. First, although Colarusso purchased all of Holcim's holdings in the City of Hudson, they did not purchase the land owned by Holcim 930 feet from Route 9G (the Hudson border) to Route 9. This land is still owned by Holcim, and Colarusso has a 100-foot wide easement through that property.
Also revealed was Colarusso's plan to move the roadway through South Bay south, to center it on the causeway. It seems the "causeway"—the path through South Bay that was filled in during latter part of the 19th century to support Fred W. Jones's mountain railroad—once accommodated two railroad tracks and a service road. The path now being used by gravel trucks making their way to the port is actually the service road. The plan, as Prendergast explained it, is to move the roadway to the center of the causeway and make it wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic, and then to create a "grass filter strip" on either side between the roadway and the wetland. Prendergast said this plan was now being reviewed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), claiming Trish Gabriel and "the wetland" person" are "OK with it."
Ray Jurkowski, the engineer on the Greenport Planning Board (the Greenport Planning Board is required to have one engineer member—what a concept!), asked about SWPPP (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan), noting that what was being proposed was "a disturbance of 8.8 acres." Prendergast posited that it was simply "maintaining a road." Jurkowski countered, "It's a disturbance."
Edward Stiffler, chair of the Greenport Planning Board, disclosed that he had received a call that afternoon from Hudson mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton, who was concerned that the City of Hudson was being left out of the review process. Prendergast attested that the proposal had been "hand delivered," presumably to the code enforcement office, on Friday. (Gossips discovered the project listed on the agenda for the Greenport Planning Board on Thursday, May 12--a week and a day before it was submitted to the City of Hudson.)
Toward the end of the Planning Board's consideration of the proposal, Stiffler acknowledged the receipt of a letter from the Valley Alliance, noting that it raised concerns "we may want to address at a future time." When asked if the Greenport Planning Board intended to declare itself lead agency in the review of the proposed haul road, Stiffler said they haven't decided yet. He earlier spoke of gathering additional information to determine whether or not the project "trips a threshold for a coordinated review" with the City of Hudson.
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