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Gloversville nears approval of Wal-Mart plan

Gloversville nears approval of Wal-Mart plan

After six years of discussions and two years of intensive review, Gloversville is nearing approva

After six years of discussions and two years of intensive review, Gloversville is nearing approval of a planned 186,000-square-foot Wal-Mart supercenter.

Several state and federal agencies are still reviewing the plans, but the city is nearly done.

Jason Fazzio, assistant to Mayor Dayton King, said Monday construction could begin as early as June; on that timetable, officials said the store would open sometime next year.

With the exception of a minor review of a planned sign at the South Kingsboro Avenue site, the city Planning Board has completed its long review, signing off on the environmental impact statement and the site plan.

Officials said the final steps now include obtaining a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, a state Department of Transportation permit to alter the Route 30A intersection, approval by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the planned stormwater system and completion of the annexation of the Teachers Credit Union property adjacent to the store site.

Fazzio said annexation, which will necessitate Planning Board approval of the subdivision of the Credit Union property, may take another two months.

Army Corps project manager John Connell said Monday that his agency will continue to accept public comment on the wetlands plan until March 26. While the timetable and final permit ruling could depend on concerns raised by the public, Connell said it is his agency’s goal to make a determination within about two months of the comment period ending.

The comment period, which began late last month, has so far generated little response, Connell said.

At the close of the comment period, Connell said any concerns raised will be presented to Wal-Mart engineers for their response.

Wal-Mart has proposed altering part of the wetland on the south side of the 40-acre lot and offsetting that impact by creating additional wetland of greater size.

DOT spokeswoman Alice Romanych said her agency has just begun reviewing Wal-Mart’s formal application, but expects to complete its work by March 31. A timeframe for issuance of a permit, Romanych said, will depend “on whether we see eye to eye.” She said Wal-Mart engineers have been engaged in discussions with DOT and are familiar with DOT’s expectations.

“It’s in their best interest to have a traffic plan that works well,” she said.

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