Patience is running dry for a developer seeking a residential subdivision, with water infrastructure remaining a sticking point for town officials.
Bruce Boswell, vice president of Boswell Engineering, left visibly frustrated after giving a presentation on the sub-division to the New Scotland Town Board during its meeting Wednesday, Aug. 13. Board members declined to vote on the project’s concept, which is required before the Town Planning Board hears the proposal. There could be more than 20 lots after the 30-acre property is divided.
At the end of the meeting, Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said there needed to be “further discussions” regarding the project.
“How many more years supervisor?” asked Boswell, who also a partial owner of the property.
Dolin answered, “I don’t know,” and said town officials would “think about it overnight.”
Boswell replied, “Six years of thinking about it overnight. It’s frustrating.”
Board member Tom Hennessy said Boswell had proposed a similar layout for the property, but the town engineer suggested looking into other water infrastructure proposals. The options proved not to be cost effective, and construction could not be done effectively, according to Hennessy.
Boswell is looking to connect to the Heldervale Water District, with him replacing some asbestos cement pipes to a new water main. There have also been discussions of installing a new line parallel for 800 feet to the existing line and taps to homeowners’ lawns. This would allow for residents to connect to the new water system when desired.
“Some of the concerns with this area were the age of the old pipe. We are taking that out of the denominator right now,” Boswell said.
While the age of the lines is addressed, Deputy Supervisor Douglas LaGrange said there are still concerns over maintenance issues accessing piping through the ravine. A utility easement would likely be needed, too.
LaGrange said Planning Board members were not in favor of the ravine, but Boswell said that was not the case. He said town planners wanted him to come back with a water source and sewer source.
“I just don’t remember that,” Boswell.
Planning Board member Jo Ann Davies said there was an extensive investigation on boring into the ravine on the property.
“When the Planning Board was discussing this project previously, there was a lot of discussion regarding the pipe coming through the ravine,” Davies said. “Although a vote was never taken, and the Planning Board is differently constructed now … with two different members, there was a lot of concern and a lot of discussion regarding that ravine.”
Town Attorney Michael Naughton clarified any “real decision” from the Town Board would be pending the Planning Board reviewing the proposal and determining the environmental impact.
“What the developer is looking for is an indication from the (Town Board) as to whether or not this is something the board is opposed to, or something that would seriously be considered,” said Naughton.
Highway Superintendent Kenneth Guyer said boring into the ravine could cause complications down the line.
“Some day, this will fail,” Guyer said, “and it won’t be us and it won’t be me, but somebody will be in that ravine trying to fix that line, and it is very inaccessible.”
The developer is also looking to get approval from the Town of Bethlehem to connect to its sewage line because there are limited options for sewage processing on site.