DEC seeks public input on cleanup of Hamilton Hill project in Schenectady

Public comment period ends Feb. 9.
Work is underway at the former St. Columba's School in 2017 as part of The Community Builders' Hamilton Hill project.
Work is underway at the former St. Columba's School in 2017 as part of The Community Builders' Hamilton Hill project.

SCHENECTADY — Public comment is being sought on a plan to clean up a brownfield site where Community Builders is constructing a major housing development.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation released the notice for public comment on Wednesday. Specifically, it seeks input on the investigation plan to clean up several parcels on Albany and Craig streets. 

The comment period is scheduled to end on Feb. 9.

The investigation plan is part of the $40 million second phase of Community Builders’ housing development project in Hamilton Hill. The 85-unit project will feature a mixture of apartments and commercial/retail space.

The $22 million first phase of the project, the Hillside View Apartments, opened in October. That entailed converting the former Horace Mann and St. Columba’s schools, along with the construction of eight new buildings along Stanley Street, into 58-affordable housing units.

In June, Community Builders noted in its application to have the area cleaned up that the site has several vacant lots, as well as a former dry cleaning business, an auto body shop, a paint store and other properties that are likely to be contaminated.

Three abandoned storage tanks were also found on the brownfield area, according to the application. One of the tanks is completely buried, and the other two are partially buried in a concrete retaining wall in the basement of 830 Albany St.

The site’s soil is believed to contain lead paint and other materials — the application said concrete, gravel, brick and asphalt fill are among them. The groundwater near the former dry cleaning and storage tanks was also believed to be contaminated with “solvent and petroleum-type contaminants.”

An investigation — to be done and paid for by Community Builders, with oversight from the DEC — will reveal the extent of the contamination, according to the DEC notice.

Information on the proposed investigation plan can be found at the Schenectady County Library at 99 Clinton Street in the city, or at the DEC’s Region 4 office at 1130 Westcott Road in Schenectady.

Comments and questions on the project can be sent to Joshua Haugh, project manager for DEC’s Region 4 office, at 518-357-2008 or at [email protected]

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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