Friday, March 19, 2021

The Future for Promenade Hill

There's an article in the Register-Star today about the situation at Promenade Hill: "High bid pauses Promenade Hill construction." The article confirms a couple of things Gossips suspected. The lowest of the three bids, which was still $500,000 over budget, came from A. Colarusso & Son. Cutting a half million out of the budget will be done by using cheaper materials. The article quotes Mayor Kamal Johnson as saying, "We're in talks of that now, so it's not definitive yet, but basically it's going to end up being some materials. Instead of using a certain stone we'll use a different version to scale some stuff down, but it's not really a big deal. These things kind of happen. It's just a small setback."


That's good to know.

23 comments:

  1. Colarusso did the repaving of South 3rd Street a few years ago. Their work has not held up well at all -- it is a mess and we foot the bill to repair their poor work. Filling the cracks and holes doesn't make the road smooth, just less horrible. At some point soon the entire three blocks will need to be redone. Colarusso also did the street and curb cut work around 6th and State in late 2019. So far the road is holding up well, but the curb work was shoddy and they left behind many holes and much debris along the grass at the sides of the roads that DPW reluctantly dealt with (translation: repeated calls to the mayor and Rob Perry to get it taken care of).
    Colarusso always wins the bids for work here because every other contractor bidding is so far away and that creates a huge expense. Colorusso wins the work but that doesn't mean they are the best at creating smooth and long-lasting pavement, walkways, roads, walls, curbs, etc. They just happen to have all the necessary equipment a mile away.

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  2. When these "cheaper materials" begin to fail and crumble, who will pay to fix or replace them? We all will. Not the DRI, not the State. And DPW will have to do the work, an additional cost.

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    1. I just hope we don't end up with colored asphalt masquerading as brick pavers and contoured cement pretending to be stone, as we have at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. That, if memory serves, was a project executed by Colarusso.

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    2. The street print brick paving walkways at the riverfront park were done by an Albany company called River Roads. However, Colorusso may have done the base gravel part.

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  3. Kids. Isn’t it amazing when you see the streets of European Cities and how great that look is.
    Maybe we should invest in our +200 year old park and create a lasting entrance. Solar powered lighting and heated sidewalks for starts. Well you can take the low road and use cheap material and pass it down the road for repair in a few years. Remember it’s the Citizens Park given to us by the Proprietors. Demand the best.

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  4. typical Hudson, discuss something conceptually for years then the ugly reality of actually paying for it finally comes up - no big deal

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    1. Which rather points, cG, to a failure in the conceptualizing itself.

      It's my idea that this goes to the philosophical root of everything dividing us nationwide. Having taken Plato's distinction a step further, Aristotle held practical reasoning (something like prudence) as a higher form of reason than theoretical and technical reasoning. In his volume on ethics, he explained that societies founded on the lower forms of reason cannot last.

      What we see with overconceptualization, which is to say planning without practicality, is usually the beginning of the end.

      Unfortunately, it's often the case that people who are strong conceptualists are also bereft of practicality and prudence. That would merely be a private tragedy, except for the collective tragedy that these are the very types who feel most driven to hold public office.

      Why can't people see that? Probably because everyone's too theoretical nowadays (which is not to say educated - far from it), which is why we're all doomed.

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    2. Good point. The founders of the City of Hudson were both practical and conceptually forward thinking people. It is still here today, or about half of it.

      they might be horrified by the current state of the City, and its lack of financial balance. They would indeed be horrified by the non tax paying properties, and I doubt they would have been big proponents of free anything.

      Finally, they would have continuously maintained the park in perfect order and this huge project would not have been needed. Get more bids and be practical. Negotiate for a better deal. that is what they would have done.

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  5. I may have misunderstood, aren't major building projects bid on first? That is, BEFORE construction starts? The idea being its feasibility, lowering cost or at the very least, maintaining the original outlays? Then, modifications as needed like a change in plans or perhaps even phasing as monies are found.

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    1. I find myself agreeing with you again. Why or why would they start a project like this without having a reasonable estimate of the full cost? This appears terrifyingly unprofessional ! What an outrageous waste of a million dollars !

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  6. This whole thing stinks to high heaven.


    Michael Chameides, with the blessing of the mayor (who is ultimately responsible for this whole debacle), the arrogance of the Common Council president (who rebuffed repeated requests from the public to encourage the meetings to be opened to the public under a dubious interpretation of the law) and the pregnant silence of the Common Council (who should have passed a resolution to open up the meetings) has turned what should have ben a marquee DRI project into a fiasco that will ultimately result, without intervention, into another mediocre public works project.


    Remember to vote.

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    1. "A dubious interpretation of the law," but the one our public officials most wanted to hear. Voters should ask, Why?

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  7. Many projects that receive funding are not allowed to start construction first, before the grant is deposited into the project 501(c)3.

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    1. Chad, it's my understanding that the DRI program runs on a reimbursement scheme, in which a municipality fronts the money for a project and then recoups from the state when the project is completed.

      Is that possibly consistent with what you're quoting? It wouldn't think so, but I could be missing something.

      If we had a real newspaper in Hudson, someone asking the right questions might discover interesting snags in the chain of command.

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  8. To the Mayor and the Council --

    Ask Colorusso for a nice big discount for the good of the City on what is designed.

    Why not ? The City has to put up with noise, dust, and its streets being torn up daily by all of Colorusso's trucks coming through town.

    They are making gigantic amounts of money on all these projects and no one is sharpening their pencils.

    How much of a profit ae they really making on this ? 300 %. 400% ???

    They can do one of these projects with their eyes closed and not think about it. This is pocket change to them but an enormous amount to a struggling city.

    They know you who you guys are - It is called Lambs to Slaughter.

    Push back and do not be so Beta. Get a good deal from them and they will still make money. Ask them for a favor.

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    1. Why not? Because that would put undue pressure on the Planning Board to reach a favorable decision in an ongoing review.

      It's doubly problematic because it offers a way for government to conceal its mistakes as if nothing had happened.

      You even present it as "a favor." Your idea is an ethical can of worms, and frankly a bit corrupt. It's straight out of the Old Boy days of Hudson's casual corruption.

      I hoped you'd know better than that, but I see now you're strategizing on behalf of the company, trying to blend in with a noise and dust complaint.

      What a throwback to our bad old days. I see you now.

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    2. Look, we all live in this little town. The fees these guys are charging the City are ridiculous.

      Im trying to be nice about it, and ask for mercy and a deal.

      However, the City needs a real break here and it does not mean anything else.

      they own the mountain, and they may own alot of or not so much of the riverfront. it is unclear.

      the reality is both they and we are here to stay. how about a little kindness and help in what some call " the friendly city".

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    3. As a matter of fact, it's the City who owns much of the mountain, while the company enjoys a longterm lease-to-buy arrangement set up by its predecessor with a previous and also corrupt City government.

      I view of the city's history with successive owners of the South Bay, your call for "kindness" is notably lacking in awareness.

      Now factor in that the current owner of the bay (and the lessee of much of Becraft Mt.) is a current applicant before the Planning Board in a review that was delayed until the applicant's lawsuit against the Planning Board - and against said review - was decided and seen by all as being frivolous.

      (The lawsuit was surely a delaying tactic until Greenport could finish its own SEQRA review, giving the plaintiff-cum-applicant the ability to say, now in an artificial past tense, that Greenport has ALREADY determined this or that issue vis-a-vis the City's ongoing review, a review which would have been concluded before Greenport could finish its own review were it not for the frivolous lawsuit.)

      And that's the sort of behavior you feel it would be kind and friendly to reward?

      Something tells me you've been an Alderman before, because yours is the same casual attitude and unfamiliarity with the facts we saw in Council after Council for decades.

      Today, the Common Council no longer operates as a lock-step "company man." Dropping the weighted vote made all the difference, and thank goodness for it.

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  9. "Favors" aside, it's still inappropriate for the Colarusso company to be bidding on city projects with an application before the Planning Board which is backed by the unspoken threat of a second lawsuit against the Planning Board - and over the same matter!

    (It was the company's loss of the first and frivilous lawsuit which negated the trumped-up obstacle to the Planning Board's proper review. The benefit to the company was an artificial delay vis-a-vis the Greenport review.)

    In what world is any of this okay? In Russia maybe? Oh, and in Hudson, naturally.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. I would add that Paul Colarusso is a board member of HDC, so there are many instances where there may be an appearance of conflict. Their bid shouldn't be considered. (This comment isn't an indictment of the company or the owner; the City should manage these situations with an ethical backbone.

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    2. Yes, it would be more of a reflection on the city, though as far as I know nobody's engaged anyone as yet.

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