Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Last Night's Informal Council Meeting: Part 1

After the organizational meeting was adjourned last night, Council president Claudia DeStefano opened the informal meeting for January. The first order of business was a communication, in the form of the map below, from the Hudson City School District.

The map, which is difficult to comprehend even when seen at full size, shows the land--a total of 1.2 acres--currently owned by the City of Hudson that HCSD wants conveyed to the school district. 

George Keeler, buildings and grounds superintendent for HCSD, spoke of the proposed acquisition as a "swap." When asked by Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) what the City got in the swap, Keeler explained that the Youth Department and HCSD had a "shared services agreement": the Youth Department uses school facilities--gyms, soccer fields, etc.--without paying the usual rental fees. "Currently," said Keeler, "we're ahead of you on the swap," intimating that the City owed HCSD $4,500, since that is the value being placed on the parcel of land. Friedman said of the shared services agreement, "Sounds like an ongoing relationship that is netting itself out over time." When Keeler avouched that the land had been appraised at $5,500, Friedman countered, "I'll give the City $6,000 for it."

Alderman Michael O'Hara (First Ward) requested that streets and buildings be superimposed on the map to make it comprehensible. DeStefano referred the matter to the Legal Committee, which is chaired by O'Hara. 


  1. Remember that one or both of the proposed easements (the two shaded areas on the map) were a first step in the School District's ambition to engineer a lasting stormwater solution to an old, and very serious erosion problem.

    As I recall, the easement was the simplest way around funding restrictions which dictated what the School District could or could not do to manage its own runoff.

    Of course, we want the School District to have the best funding and the freest hand possible to finally deal with its decades-old degradation of Underhill Pond.

  2. The site location on the map doesn't accurately show where the parcels are located. The "tail" of the parcel is actually south of Underhill Pond and adjoining it, not north of it. I think the westerly easement connects to Underhill Pond and the easterly easement connects to the swamp that drains into Underhill Pond.