Residents living near the Mohawk River, particularly near the Alco industrial site in Schenectady, might want to take advantage of a very short window to comment on a project that could have a direct and significant impact on their lives for years to come.
No, it's not exactly the casino. But it's in the ballpark.
This project would create a 5.5-acre harbor and 70 feet of docks for the new $150 million riverfront development that would include a hotel, townhouses, two hotels, a parking garage and, potentially, a new $300 million regional casino.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public input on the project, which would involve widening the river, dredging to create the harbor (which they call an “embayment”) and raising the level of the land for the development to make it less susceptible to flooding.
If you're a geologist or an engineer or an expert on flooding or dredging, or if you're just concerned about the potential impact on areas such as Schenectady's historic Stockade, your input is important.
But you don't have much time. The comment period ends August 9, just 19 days from today. Comments have to be in the Army Corps' hands by then; your postmark won't matter if it gets there after. You can also email your comments.
To read the report on the project, go to the Army Corps' New York District website: www.nan.usace.army.mil/. On the left, you'll see a column entitled "Most Requested." Scroll down to "Find a Regulatory Public Notice." Click on that and you'll come to the Public Notices page. The public notice for this project is about three items down under the name Maxon ALCO Holdings Inc.
The 18-page pdf. contains a detailed description of the project in reasonably plain English, followed by several pages of sketches that you don't necessarily have to be an engineer to figure out.
We urge residents to give the Army Corps as much information as they can so that it can fully evaluate the project with the most specific, relevant, local information possible.
Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, CENAN-OP-R, Upstate Regulatory Field Office, 1 Buffington St., Building 10, 3rd Floor, Watervliet, NY 12189-4000. Email: Brad.Sherwood@usace.army.mil. Use reference number NAN-2013-01 078 on your correspondence.