Gloversville council delays vote on sewer

Decisions by the city’s Common Council could affect the planned summer opening of the Fulton County

Decisions by the city’s Common Council could affect the planned summer opening of the Fulton County YMCA’s new Harrison Street facility.

The council has delayed approving the new sewer connection the YMCA needs to open on Harrison Street in the town. Since YMCA Executive Director Steven Serge wrote May 1 asking the cities of Johnstown and Gloversville and their Joint Sewer Board to approve the Harrison Street sewer connection, only the Gloversville Common Council has withheld consent.

City officials have expressed concern that the YMCA’s proposal to connect a six-inch line to the city’s Crossroads Industrial Park pumping station would use up surplus capacity at the station and complicate continuing development of the industrial park.

Councilman John Castiglione, R-2nd Ward, said he believes the issue needs more study and discussion and doubts the council will be in a position to vote at its June 24 meeting.

“We need to find out the facts before we act,” Castiglione said.

He said his major concern is limiting the recruitment of new businesses at the industrial park. And if allowing the YMCA to connect to the pumping station forces the city to upgrade the station to accommodate new companies, Castiglione said he wants to know who will be responsible for those costs.

Serge said Thursday YMCA officials are cooperating with the city on the sewer issue and are hopeful the council will approve the connection.

Mayor Tim Hughes said earlier this week the council has some concerns that could push a decision beyond the June 24 meeting.

Serge said he is optimistic the sewer issue will not delay the planned summer opening. He said an opening date has not been set.

There was considerable community opposition to the YMCA’s decision to move its recreational facilities from downtown to the town of Johnstown and earlier this year even more opposition to subsequent YMCA plans to demolish the downtown gym and pool and expand indigent housing from 23 to 53 units. Critics contend the plan will introduce a large homeless population to the downtown business district.

The YMCA has filed suit challenging a Zoning Board of Appeals decision the 53-unit housing complex is incompatible with the downtown commercial zone and is awaiting a ruling.

The sewer connection issue was not foreseen. In his May 1 letter, Serge told local officials that during excavation it was discovered that the sewer line was smaller than the line depicted in blueprints. The YMCA renovated the former warehouse of Gates-Mills, a glove company.

George Bevington, manager of the Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility, said the line to the former warehouse is only two inches in diameter.

Bevington, addressing a council work session June 10, told the council the Crossroads pump station is designed to handle about 200 gallons of flow per minute. He said the station can accommodate flow from the YMCA, but said an upgrade would be necessary if a heavy user such as another yogurt plant chooses to locate at Crossroads Industrial Park.

Categories: Schenectady County

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