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Stormwater issues key in Guilderland townhouse proposal

Daniel Hershberg, of the engineering firm Hershberg and Hershberg, presented the stormwater drainage plan.

In addition to addressing the residents' concerns about drainage, he discussed some terms that have been thrown around in describing storms in recent months that could possibly be confusing residents.

"The term '100-year storm' should never have been made," he said. He said so-called 100-year storms happen much more frequently than once every 100 years.

Hershberg addressed another common mistake people make when talking about stormwater. The plan he presented shows water slowing as it is constricted through the culverts, not speed ingup. He said making the pipes and culverts too big can actually do more harm than good, and this plan specifically deals with ways to make water flow at the right speed to prevent flooding.

Questions were raised about the possibility of basements being included in the plans for the townhouses. Hershberg said there are plans for basements in most, if not all, of the unit, but they will not penetrate the groundwater table.

Ken Johnson, an engineer with the town's firm, Delaware Engineering, said he met with the highway department and is satisfied with the stormwater mitigation plan.

"You're lowering the amount of water that's going through the existing culverts," he said.

Johnson said, though, that it would take about a month to work out language for a drainage district plan.

The town could opt to have a homeowners association run the district at first, before eventually creating a separate taxing district.

Roger Stone, the town's zoning enforcement and stormwater management officer called the plan "very, very comprehensive."

Town Board member Paul Pastor said the board is moving in the right direction, but said it might be prudent to delay a rezone based on the fact that the details of the drainage district have not been worked out.

Board member Patricia Slavick said the people involved need to come together and weed out the details of the drainage district and board member Mark Grimm said he supports allowing the HOA to manage the district, so as not to "further the reach of government."

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