Big-box store hearing Monday

City officials said Friday they have no idea how many people will attend Monday’s public hearing on

City officials said Friday they have no idea how many people will attend Monday’s public hearing on Wal-Mart’s draft environmental impact statement on its proposed Supercenter.

The hearing, a midway point in the 45-day public comment period on the voluminous document, is set for 7 p.m. at Gloversville Middle School.

Fulton County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty, adviser to the Gloversville Planning Board, said it is difficult to gauge interest in the hearing because no one has taken the opportunity yet to file written comments with his office. Neither has he received one phone call on the subject, he said.

But, opponents of the project have said they will attend.

One of them, Robert Bordieri, whose standing to comment has been questioned by project advocates because he lives in Montgomery County, said Friday he will attend. He said he is prepared to listen to other speakers at the meeting, but has not decided whether he will offer comment.

Bordieri tried to organize critics of the planned Supercenter and in recent months circulated his list of the top 10 reasons to block the store.

He said Friday his views continue to be shaped by concerns over the impact of the store on the existing business community, the destruction of what is now about 40 acres of green space on South Kingsboro Avenue Extension and the creation of traffic flow problems in the store’s vicinity.

Geraghty said he would like to remind those attending Monday that the hearing is not a forum on whether people “love or hate Wal-Mart. It’s an opportunity to comment on the mitigative measures proposed. I’m not sure everybody understands that,” Geraghty said.

The Planning Board is the lead agency on the project, which city officials are still optimistic can be completed in time for the store to open before Christmas 2009.

Wal-Mart consultants revised their original draft environmental impact statement after addressing questions from the Planning Board.

The major issues cited by the board include handling of storm water and its effect on a nearby stream, traffic control and road alterations and mitigation of light generated in and around the store.

The entire document may be reviewed online by clicking the link on the city Web site — It is available in hard copy at City Hall, the Gloversville Public Library, Johnstown Town Hall and the Fulton County Office Building.

A stenographic record will be made Monday night. Public comments will be reviewed by the board as it moves toward approving a final impact statement. Geraghty has said that could happen by the end of summer, a development that allows other agencies and government entities to review issues within their respective areas.

Categories: Schenectady County

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