[Return to Home Page] [Subscriptions] [Newsstands] [Contact Us] [Archives]

New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 13, 2006

For high-end homes
Water found, lots reconfigured

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — After drilling hole after hole in the old Foreman Farm for almost a year, looking for water, developers returned to the planning board this month claiming to have found a viable underground water supply in the southwest corner of a 14-acre parcel at the corner of Font Grove and Krumkill roads. But, to accommodate 6 houses on mostly dry lots, project engineer Francis Bossolini is now proposing an unusual lot configuration for subdivision approval.

The proposed homes which are expected to sell for a-half to three-quarters of a million dollars, are spread out over two- to three-acre parcels. Each of the initially box-shaped lots now have additional tail-like slivers of land, about 15 feet in width extending to a common well site.

The slivers from all six lots meet up in the middle of the 14 acres at a common well field against the neighboring Greenberg property line. There are 6 separate wells clustered together, drawing from the same source, but located on separately-owned narrow slivers of property.

The long strips to the wells are not attractive, planning board member Cynthia Elliot said. "But I understand why you did it," she added. She went on to recommend designating one area to be transversed by future homeowners who will at times have to access their wells by vehicles.

Also there is the potential for ugliness, Elliott said. For example if there is a feud, the owners could construct fences following their strips, which would result in rows of fences clumped together. The current landowners could restrict by deed what can be done within the narrow strips, she said.

The land for this development used to be owned by Jeremiah Manning and is now owned by C.W. Custom Builders.

Bossolini was last at the planning board in July, when he received preliminary approval pending the finding of water. That preliminary approval has since expired, so he has reapplied. Additionally, he has to start the approval process again because the lot configuration and subsequent subdivision request have been modified.

Water concerns

A heated public hearing on the six lot subdivision for these high-end homes was held last June, when a large number of neighbors spoke about the scarcity of water in the area. A new public hearing for the latest land plan is now scheduled for next month’s planning board meeting. The board anticipates voting then on both the preliminary and final plat approval, if the applicant has met all the board’s conditions.

"We are very concerned about the quality of water there," said Robert Stapf, the board’s chairman.

"You were lucky to find water," he told Bossolini, who simply shrugged.

Stapf said the board is waiting on more information on the pump test. The Albany County Health Department has been collecting its own samples at the site and the planning board has stipulated that the town’s engineers have to review the wells as well.

Keith Menia, of the town’s engineering firm, Vollmer Associates, said he would like to do some simultaneous pumping of all the wells. Also, Menia said he needs the developer’s well logs. Menia and the board discussed with Bossolini closing all the abandoned well holes.

The casings are 40 to 50 feet in depth, Bossolini said; he plans to pump grout into them, which the planning board said it would require.

"It’s important to keep the groundwater uncontaminated," Stapf said.

The viable wells are 300 feet deep, Bossolini said. Each of the houses will also have a 1,000-gallon tank inside the house, to hold a few days’ supply of water, in case of an emergency, Bossolini said.

Stephanie Martin’s neighboring well has been tested by the developers with her permission to monitor any potential impact, Bossolini said.

She has expressed to public officials in the past the extensive difficulties she has had maintaining a quality water supply for drinking; she has had to use expensive filtering systems.

Stapf said, besides water, the board is also concerned about the location of the private septic system. One of the septic systems is to be located 200 feet from a well — the minimal distance required by law. Still to be worked out is the well-head projection and if additional fill is needed, Stapf said.

Three houses are to have driveways coming out onto Krumkill Road and the other three houses will be accessed from Front Grove Road. Two houses are behind and to the west of Stephanie Martin’s house on Front Grove Road, so two driveways are to run alongside the southern border of her property, with a third nearby. The other four proposed houses are south of the Martin property. The Greenberg property borders the vacant land to the west, and the Kenny’s own the land directly to the north.

Other business

In other business: The planning board:

— Renewed the Dunston Brothers, Inc junkyard license and lauded the owner for doing such a nice job of cleaning up the property;

— Set a public hearing for next month on permitting Julie Nooney to receive a special-use permit to keep six chickens on her residential property in Feura Bush;

— Received a variance application from Jeffrey Rosenberger on behalf of Theodore Pogoda, forwarded from the zoning board. He wants to remodel and expand an existing nonconforming three-family dwelling located near the intersection of Route 85 and Thacher Park Road. He lives in one part of the house and rents out the rest. Rosenberger told the zoning board he thinks it will be easier to find tenants if there are additional bedrooms for families with children. He plans to do the renovations himself. The new building will occupy twice as much space as it does now.

Planning board considers two cell towers

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — Two applications for telecommunication towers are now being considered by the planning board.

Attorney Adam Walters from New Cingular Wireless has returned to the planning board this month after a 10 month hiatus. He is now working with a new site acquisition company, Velocitel, rather than Pyramid Network, but the proposal is the same as last year’s — to build a new 90-foot tower next to the village of Voorheesville’s water tank at the end of Woods Hill Road off of Swift Road.

Also, URS Corporation, representing Dominion Transmission, is still in the process of getting approval for an new telecommunications tower at the end of Tower Lane on the Helderberg escarpment. The plan is to tear down an existing 86-foot tower and put up a new 195-foot high tower. Representatives for this company first appeared before the board in December.

These two applications are the only ones that have come before the town since New Scotland’s Wireless Telecommunications Law went into effect in December of 2004.

Dominion Transmission, transmits micro-wave and radio waves to send data and coordinate the movement of oil in the area. Also co-located on this tower are some governmental agencies like the CIA, FBI, and State Police.

At Cingular's site, on Woods Hill Road, there is already an existing Sprint tower to the right of the village’s water tank, but it is currently full with antennas, and Cingular needs a spot just at or above the tree line to improve cell-phone service in the area, Walters said.

Planning board chairman Robert Stapf told Walters that the board has the same request lingering from last year. Other alternative locations still need to be investigated to see if the needs can be reasonably met elsewhere on existing structures such as nearby church steeples, he said.

Walters presented colored diagrams — one highlighting where there is lack of cell-phone coverage now and then a second color-coded map depicting how coverage will be improved based on this location.

Cingular doesn’t keep track of where its existing users live but rather builds plans to design where there is no coverage and tries to fill in the gaps, Walters said. This tower will particularly give Cingular cell-phone users reception along New Scotland Road in town and in the village of Voorheesville, Walters said.

The town’s legal counsel for the telecommunications law is Peter Barber. He said that, assuming there is a need for this new tower, the law requires that it be as least intrusive as possible. Planning board member Elizabeth Stewart asked Walters if it would be advantageous to go higher than 90 feet, so that there could be more co-locations in the future and also better coverage, reaching even farther.

Walters was intrigued and said that 90 feet is just the minimum height Cingular needs to be above the tree line. The tower already at this site is 90-feet.

Two local tech whiz kids named first in state
V’ville’s Brozowski first place in data entry

By Holly Grosch

VOORHEESVILLE — Ashley Brozowski, a senior at Clayton A. Bouton High has excelled in school thanks to the Capital Region Career and Technical School for vocational training, she said. Brozowski made the high honor roll this year, and last weekend won first place in New York State for data entry at a SkillsUSA competition in Syracuse.

"I think a lot of kids at my home school are missing out," Brozowski said of other Voorheesville high school students.

She has been attending the Capital Region Career and Technical School part-time for two years now, spending some of her time at Clayton A. Bouton, taking traditional academic courses. This semester, she is taking physical education and government classes at Clayton A. Bouton and webdesign courses at the career and technical school.

Students at Voorheesville, Brozowski said, "often make fun of the VoTech kids"calling us retards".They think it’s not for smart people." When that’s not the case, she said. She’s been learning useful skills that a lot of other kids her age don’t know, she said, like how to make a professional website.

They sit in class all day doing the same average stuff, Brozowski said of her peers. One of the perks of going back and forth between schools, Brozowski said, is that she gets out of the boring government class a little early.

"It bothers me a lot," she said of when the teens make fun of her. "It makes me aggravated — they don’t know, they aren’t part of the program."

She thinks she has an upperhand over them now in the job market because she has received hands-on learning experience that traditional high-school students haven’t.

To win first place at the state competition Brozowski inputted three pages of data and codes in 30 minutes using Excel. She was judged on speed and accuracy. The full competition lasted about three hours, during which other skills where tested including math and spelling ability using various computer programs. At the regional level, Brozowski placed for both data entry and word document, she said.

Brozowski has been accepted at Hudson Valley Community College for the fall, where she plans to pursue a liberal arts degree.

She got into computer studies for high school, because she thought it would be interesting and "computers are the thing to get into these days," she said; computer skills are necessary in the job world. Also, she took an interest in computers because her father works with computers for Newkirk, so he has been able to help her with her studies. He’s now going to college, too, she said, so they will continue to bond and study together.

In her free time, Brozowski likes to surf the Internet and read; she just finished reading The DaVinci Code.

Brozowski said she doesn’t see herself in an office job in the future, sitting in the same spot at a desk all day, every day. But, in terms of high school, "I’m ready to get out!" she said. "I guess I’ll see where the road takes me."

[Return to Home Page]