That the Senate would vote yesterday to move forward on repealing the Affordable Care Act was not unexpected, nor was it unexpected that last night the Greenport Planning Board would make a negative declaration on the Colarusso haul road. Still, though not unexpected, both were more than a little stunning when they actually happened.
The Colarusso portion of the Greenport Planning Board meeting started with chair Ed Stiffler asking P. J. Prendergast, engineer for A. Colarusso & Sons, for an update. Prendergast reported that "technical people" from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had visited the South Bay portion of the haul road after Colarusso had proposed they would pave the roadway as a means of reducing dust. According to Prendergast, DEC was "OK" with the paving but "would like a little less filter strip." DEC requested "woody vegetation instead of all grass" along the haul road, with "no mow" areas. Prendergast told the board that Colarusso's "environmental guy" would be creating a planting plan to submit to the DEC.
Then the board turned its attention to making a declaration. After some exchange about a narrative prepared by engineer Ray Jurkowski, board member Michael Bucholsky opined, "It's been a long time since we have gone into anything with such detail, scrutinizing the environmental aspects of the haul road." He delineated the reasons he thought the proposal had merit, including the benefits of the altered traffic pattern, expressed the opinion that the applicant "has done a fine job," and then moved that the board make a negative declaration. A roll call vote was taken, and all the members of the Greenport Planning Board--Sandy Kipp, Paul D'Onofrio, Robert MacGiffert, Bucholsky, and Stiffler--voted to make a negative declaration. Stiffler then complimented the board and the consultants for "doing a fine job."
The next step in the process is a public hearing. The Greenport Planning Board has extended an invitation to the Hudson Planning Board to be present at that hearing so that the Hudson board can hear about "things we would like to see done in Hudson that we don't have authority over." That public hearing was set for Tuesday, August 22, at 7:30 p.m.
Having dispatched the haul road issue for the evening, the Greenport Planning Board moved on, and the spectators from Hudson filed out of the room. There was a Greenport police officer in the corridor, and Gossips learned that he was lurking there because the Planning Board had gotten a tip that people from Hudson were going to come and disrupt the meeting. No such thing happened.
An audiorecording of the first twenty minutes of the Greenport Planning Board meeting can now be heard on WGXC.
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