SCHENECTADY — The latest proposal for a new pump station in the Stockade shows the structure mostly remaining within the footprint of the current pump station, following concerns previously levied by residents.
About a half-dozen residents met with city officials Friday to discuss the latest pump house renderings, which incorporated neighborhood feedback from a few months ago. Residents are expected to get a look at the latest renderings during an upcoming public meeting at City Hall.
The latest design, which was not made available to The Daily Gazette, shows the new facility would be mostly contained within the fenced perimeter of the current pump house, said Gloria Kishton, a resident who attended Friday's meeting. A part of the new facility will extend into the park, but that portion is located underground, so it is unlikely to cause a disruption, she said.
“It does address some of the concerns for some property owners,” Kishton said. “It will need to address the issues of others.”
City and Stockade leaders are finalizing details for an upcoming public forum on the latest design, at which residents will be able to view renderings and ask questions. The renderings presented at the forum will not necessarily be final.
The latest designs are driven largely by feedback from the State Historic Preservation Office, which has indicated the current pump station must be preserved, Kishton said.
City officials previously suggested the old station could be repurposed as a community center, though plans were never floated.
There was no discussion last week about how the old station would be reused or maintained, Stockade Association President Carol DeLaMarter said.
The city has, for a few years, been planning to build a new pump station to replace the North Ferry Street facility. The City Council approved construction of the new station in 2014, after the current station sustained damage in Hurricane Irene.
The station now handles close to 70 percent of the city’s sewage and is not flood-proof. The new station would meet requirements set forth in a consent order from the Department of Environmental Conservation, in part by raising critical equipment above the flood plain, officials said.
The new station’s cost is pegged at roughly $7.5 million, with about half that covered through city borrowing and the other half coming from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s New York Rising Program.
Dozens of Stockade residents voiced opposition earlier this year to building a new structure, saying it would obstruct river views for certain homes and would disrupt the natural setting of Riverside Park. The Stockade Association and its roughly 180 members then formally voted in May to oppose the project.
“There’s a wide range of concerns,” Kishton said. “Some people still feel the old pump station could be retrofitted and used. Those opinions range all the way to the other extreme of why not just demolish the historic building and build a new, modern pump station on the same footprint.”
The City Council approved legislation in June setting aside a half-acre of parkland for the project, as well as a separate resolution stating the council would not approve a design that included a footprint that extended more than 30 feet west of the current station.