Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law two bills that will set aside plots of parkland in Schenectady for two separate projects.
One bill alienates land in Riverside Park in the Stockade, which will be used to create a new pump station. The other focuses on Quackenbush Park in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood, where a new Boys and Girls Club will be built. The governor signed legislation Tuesday night approving both measures.
The pump station has been a source of debate between residents and city officials, after dozens of Stockade residents and the Stockade Association voiced opposition to building a new structure. The council in 2014 approved construction of a new pump station at the site of the current one along North Ferry Street. The facility sustained damage in Hurricane Irene in 2011, and is not flood-proof, city officials said.
Residents expressed concerns that a new station would block views of the river and disrupt the nature of Riverside Park, and questioned if a new one was necessary. As a result, the project developer is working on a design that would minimize the footprint of a new structure.
The City Council passed home-rule legislation calling for 0.5 acres of parkland to be set aside for the project. The council then approved a separate resolution stating that, without a public hearing, the council would not approve a contract or design for a new station whose footprint extended more than 30 feet to the west of the existing building, and pledging any unused alienated land would be returned as parkland.
Residents and city leaders said afterward the compromise isn’t perfect, but were hopeful…
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