suns along the Mohawk

strong, thoughtful opposition to Pump Station in the Park (with updates)

 [L] Design presented on March 1 for a new pumping station on the West Lawn of Riverside Park; it was part of CHA’s 25-page Presentation to the Stockade Association Board

  [L]: West Lawn, as seen April 23, 2017

 Yesterday evening (May 2nd), concerned members of the Stockade community demonstrated clearly that they stand opposed to putting a new pumping station in Riverside Park, with thoughtful and heartfelt reasons for defending their beloved Park and Stockade neighborhood. [see the article in the May 3, 2017 Gazette  by Brett Samuels].

Immediately below are links to related materials, especially images of our very special Park. Below that, is a detailed description of the main points expressed and information received at the May 2nd meeting.

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Continuation of ORIGINAL POSTING:

Cast of Characters with “official” Roles at the May 2 meeting: Suzy Unger, SA Board member and Recording Secretary, was the emcee. The panel consisted of Mark Miller, the lead engineer on the project from CHA Consulting [Clough Harbour Associates, “CHA”]; Brad Fisher, who lives at 27 Front Street, a directly affected property; Larry Schmidt of 11 Front Street; and Fred Heitkamp, who has lived on North Street since 1969.

Paul LaFond, Schenectady’s Commissioner of General Services briefly spoke. Carol DeLaMater, SA President and Bob Stern, SA Corresponding Secretary, also contributed. Larry, Fred, Carol and Bob were the “community members” who were invited by the City and CHA to be on the so-called Community Advisory Committee that attended the private “workshop” sessions about the Project. Gloria Kishton, Stockade Spy co-editor this past year, and President of the Schenectady County Heritage Foundation, tended a flip-chart where she recorded comments.

Vince Riggi, Independent member of the City Council, was in the audience and was the only Council member present.

From my perspective, here are the main points brought out in the meeting; my impressions or asides are in brackets:

SA Corresponding Secretary Bob Stern wrote to the large Yahoo Historic Stockade email list this morning, saying:

I just want to thank all of our neighbors who turned out last night. I thought the questions and comments were insightful and helpful and I learned some new information and new perspectives. Can’t ask for much more from a meeting. We have a lot of intelligent and interested neighbors which is a good thing.

That’s a pretty good summary and leaves me more optimistic than is often warranted that the Stockade Association will work hard to achieve the will of its members, for the good of the Historic District.

For more information, including images of the beautiful West Lawn of Riverside Park, please go to tinyurl.com/WLawn.

 update (May 8, 2017): The Stockade Association Board decided at its May 3rd meeting to put the new Pump Station location on the agenda of the Annual Meeting, May 18, 2017 (7 PM at the St. George’s Great Hall).

  follow-up (May 21, 2017): At its May 18, 2017 Annual Meeting, the membership of the Stockade Association voted overwhelmingly for the following motion, and for a second motion to make up to $4000 available to implement SA’s opposition.

Regarding the Stockade Association’s position on the proposed new pump station in Riverside Park:  As a follow up to our request in May 2014, we move that the membership of the Stockade Association strongly oppose the alienation of any park land; and the construction of any new structures outside the fenced area of the existing Pump Station. We also demand a thorough vetting by the city of all other options in a transparent and inclusive manner.

 follow-up: Two resolutions passed by the City of Schenectady City Council on June 12, 2017, represent a compromise solution that we hope will sacrifice, at most, less than 0.1 acre of parkland at Riverside Park. See the posting “what the parkland alienation resolutions mean” (June 12, 2017), at suns along the Mohawk.