ROTTERDAM: Public worries about water

Water has been a major concern throughout this whole project.

Lee Harrison, a resident of Masullo Estates who said he had a Ph.D. in civil engineering, was upset about Helderberg Meadows' water management plan. He was afraid that development in the area would hinder the plans for fixing the water problem in Masullo Estates.

The developers of Helderberg Meadows paid for a study to test the effects the proposed subdivision would have on Masullo Estates. Steenburgh said the study found that the development would have virtually no impact on the existing neighborhood and in fact may help it because proper drainage would be in place and maintained on the property.

The study also found that groundwater travels northeast to southwest from Masullo Estates toward the proposed development.

The project also calls for a sewer line through the subdivision, which residents of Masullo Estates would be able to hook up to at a later date.

Steenburgh said the development would cause an additional 250 trips per hour around the area, something that residents were not pleased about. Because both County Line Road is a county highway and Guilderland Avenue is a state highway, the decision as to the safety of those roads is up to the county highways department and the state Department of Transportation, both of which have given this project conceptual approval.

Steenburgh changed his plans to accommodate both fire districts that would be serving this area. Steenburgh said fire and emergency services personnel wanted the water mains to be 10 inches wide instead of the original eight inches.

Resident Michael O'Connor said, "We are looking at a type of project that defies engineering. I guarantee there will be some future problem with this project, whether it's water or traffic and safety."

Planning Commission Chair-man Lawrence DiLallo said that because no one on the commission is an engineer, it is the commission's job to rely on the expertise of other people and then weigh the facts.

"We rely on the expertise of the applicant, and we rely on the expertise of the town-hired engineer and the state DOT and we weigh the evidence," DiLallo said.

DiLallo said all the studies that have been done in the past years have given the commission no reason to issue anything but a negative declaration, allowing the project to go forward. ""

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