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SCOTIA: Group warns of river erosion

Scotia Waterfront Committee members told the Scotia board of trustees at the Wednesday, Jan. 10, meeting that erosion is threatening the village in several spots along the river, and the board needs to rewrite the committee's charge, granting them the authority to deal with the erosion issue.

Waterfront committee members Steven Marsh and Sandy Misiewicz said the eroding riverbank needs to be stabilized before any improvements can be made.

In a charge written several years ago, the committee was given the authority to evaluate the bank's feasibility review, financial issues, and comprise a concept plan. The committee could also make recommendations for land use, but it was not allowed to address erosion or bank stabilization.

It's a horrific problem, and at this point, unless we change the original charge and have it amended, we will be hitting our heads against a brick wall, said Marsh.

Trustee Armon Benny, who took part in writing the original Waterfront Committee charge, said at the time they had applied for a grant to find a facilitator who could address erosion. The grant was denied, which was the reason the issue of erosion was left out.

"The purpose for the charge was to address transportation, road realignment, bicycle paths and parking," said Benny.

Misiewicz said since 1998 the committee has applied for erosion grants, and, as of today, has not been approved for any because the Scotia Waterfront is not along the main channel.

"We are told we don't need to be concerned, yet in the original deed of the waterfront along Schonowe Avenue, there was originally 85 feet from the curbside to the bank. Today there is not even close to that," said Misiewicz.

The Capital District Transportation Committee has told the committee the erosion is out their normal jurisdiction. The committee also has worked with the Chamber of Schenectady County as well as the Stockade Association.

Mayor Kris Kastberg told the committee members that he and his board have a list of priorities, and bank stabilization is one of them.

"We are looking into federal funding at the point. We know we need to necessitate stabilization," said Kastberg.

Misiewicz said on Schonowe Avenue there is currently only one tree left standing, and it's dead. She said all the other trees have fallen on what was once a tree-lined area.

"My husband's grandfather planted those trees. My concern now is the next to go will be the utility polls," said Misiewicz.""

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