NISKAYUNA: Fight goes petition route

They may be coming to a store near you, or even knocking on your door. They're not trying to sell you anything, and they're not asking for money; just a signature. Supporters of preserving the Ingersoll Home have begun their latest campaign to keep the longtime historic structure on the corner of Balltown Road and State Street right where it is.

The latest push to garner support from local residents comes in the form of a lengthy petition outlining the case for preserving the building. Developers of the lot want to remove all but the oldest part of the structure and get rid of most of the trees on the prominent 12.5-acre parcel.

The change is all part of a proposed project that would bring a shopping complex to the site occupied by the Ingersoll Home for nearly 200 years.

That home is currently being used as a residence for nearly three-dozen senior citizens, but management has already gained approval for an alternative location on Consaul Road.

Petition carriers are expected to make a push over the weekend in hopes of gaining additional signatures before a public hearing on the project that's scheduled for a town board meeting Tuesday evening.

The petition is also available online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/Ingersoll-Stanford-Home.

We are doing everything we can to make the case for preserving this beautiful and historic site, said local activist Linda Champagne. "And we need all the help we can get."

Located across the street from Mohawk Commons, the site is properly zoned for a new shopping mall and virtually all approvals have already been granted. The one remaining piece to the puzzle is a special use permit that must be granted by the town board before work can begin on the site. A public hearing on that item was originally slated for Dec. 19, but it was postponed after project developers indicated that they were going to revise their proposal.

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