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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 18, 2009

Board to bid for stormwater improvement

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — An upgraded stormwater system may soon reduce decades of flooding on Western Avenue in McKownville.

Town board members unanimously agreed, on Tuesday, to go out to bid for stormwater improvements and the construction of McKownville Park, a project with a $600,000 budget, after five years spent working to get funding.

The town has received five grants — $100,000 from the state’s Office of Parks and Recreation, $200,000 from the state’s Department of Transportation, two grants totaling $200,000 from the State Assembly through John McEneny, and $100,000 from Stuyvesant Plaza.

The short-term project, slated to be complete by November of this year, will include turning the former McKownville Reservoir into a pocket park and recreational area. The park will incorporate nature trails around a pond setting, with benches, picnic tables, and a pavilion. The east section of the park will have a tall tree canopy, while the west section of the park will have densely vegetation with a pond area and a land-bridge crossing.

The reorganization of the reservoir will help to alleviate a problem the town has been dealing with for years — flooding on Route 20 in front of Stuyvesant Plaza. A 24-inch culvert that slows stormwater drainage will be replaced with a new 36-inch culvert.

The state’s DOT box culvert under Western Avenue will continue to have stormwater directed through it, and, when it reaches capacity, the water will be diverted through the new 36-inch culvert, into the pond at the Stuyvesant Plaza entrance. The reservoir has a capacity of three million gallons, and will be used as a detention basin. Improvements made to the existing pond will include concrete retaining walls, and the installation of pond inlet and outlet structures. Plants to minimize erosion and support aquatic life will also be integrated.

The theory, according to Supervisor Runion, is that the upgraded stormwater system will reduce flooding from two or three each year, to one every five to 10 years.

If a bid is received and awarded for less than $600,000, Runion said, extra enhancements could be made to the park. In the event that all of the bids are greater than $600,000, certain amenities, such as the gazebo, might be eliminated from the plan, in order to focus on the necessary items, he said.

The reason the bidding is being pushed, Runion explained, is, “There are lots of contractors looking for work right now, and we hope to get some competitive bids.”

At the meeting, Runion clarified that the project up for bid right now will not have any affect on the flooding basements and sinkholes in McKownville. That is a completely separate issue, which would require $5.75 million in funding, and is something that will likely be remedied in a piecemeal style in the coming years, he said.

Runion said he would like to have the town board accept a bid on the stormwater updates and McKownville Park construction on July 7, award the bid on July 10, and start construction in August.

Other business:

In other business, the town board voted unanimously to:

— Award bids for renovations to the historic Schoolcraft House;

— Release escrow accounts for completed construction projects, as recommended by a town designated engineer;

— Award a bid for granulated active carbon to Calgon Carbon Coporation; and

— Approve a transfer submitted by the town comptroller, for the purpose of purchasing a 12-passenger bus for Senior Services.

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