Recently, I became privy to a letter from John Privatera, attorney for A. Colarusso & Sons, to city attorney Andy Howard. It is dated June 10, 2019, the day before the June meeting of the Planning Board, and it was written in response to a request from Planning Board chair Walter Chatham for a list of conditions Colarusso would find acceptable.
The basic content of the letter was discussed at the June meeting of the Planning Board, including Colarusso's request that dock operations be allowed to continue until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, to make up for agreeing to restrictions on the hours trucks may travel to and from the dock. (At the meeting, Privatera argued that the activity at the dock produced little noise, and people liked to park at Rick's Point to watch barges being loaded and unloaded.)
Although there is not much in the letter that isn't already known, a sentence in the introductory paragraph merits attention. In June, Privatera wrote: "We only have a few months to get the Haul Road paved so that trucks can get off the city streets before the new school year around Labor Day, so I believe we have a mutual interest in moving this matter along." This is a standard Colarusso ploy: trying to pressure the Planning Board by making it seem that the Planning Board review it is what is preventing Colarusso from benevolently freeing Hudson from the danger and destruction of their trucks traveling through the city. The truth is that Colarusso could stop routing trucks through Hudson right now if they wanted to, but they don't.
Since August 2017, when the Greenport Planning Board gave its approval, the part of the haul road that is in Greenport--from Route 9G to Route 9 and on through the quarry to Newman Road--could have been built, and there would be no reason for trucks hauling gravel and asphalt to pass through the streets of Hudson. The haul road through South Bay, although not paved, is already in use and has been since the days of O&G. Trucks could be going from the dock to Colarusso headquarters on Newman Road without traveling on city streets now. Trucks traveling to Newman Road to pick up product could be avoiding city streets now. The only thing stopping this from happening is Colarusso's stubborn insistence on paving the entire road--from the dock to their headquarters on Newman Road--at one time, and in the process moving the stretch through South Bay and widening it to two lanes.
Our city is being bullied today in the same way it was in the 1870s, when Fred W. Jones wanted to build his railroad through South Bay, the very railroad that established the route of today's haul road.
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