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Hastings to Create Committee for Waterfront Plan

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – In a project of such magnitude as the waterfront cleanup and subsequent development, the village emphasized the importance of public influence. With that in mind, the Hastings Board of Trustees plans to create a committee of local residents to help oversee the next step of the project.

“The roller coaster on this particular ride has begun,” said Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski. This committee “should be beyond our scope as a board. This isn’t theoretical, it’s pressing and immediate.”

The board of trustees will look to create a committee that will oversee public comments and come up with a detailed plan for infrastructure to provide to British Petroleum (BP), which owns the waterfront land and will perform the cleanup once all is approved. The village must decide on a plan and provide this information to BP by late summer with enough details to give a guideline to engineers as to where sewer pipes, electrical lines, potential roads and water lines would go on the waterfront land.

The village plans to create a committee of seven to nine people and will begin soliciting resumes from local residents soon.

“I think it’s very important to have a citizens committee,” Trustee Meg Walker said.

The board said residents with backgrounds in planning, real estate, architecture, law or parks and recreations are highly encouraged to apply.

“You want a large enough group so you get a diversity of voices and expertise,” Trustee Nicola Armacost said.

This committee will work with a consultant to research the waterfront and the feasibility of various plans, while considering public comments, to provide a detailed plan to BP for input. Swiderski described it as “an infrastructure recommendation as far as what and where” various aspects of the groundwork will go.

While no concrete deadline was set for the creation of the committee, the consensus was the board would like to have it done by the end of the school year. The committee would eventually hold public meetings in the fall where it would take public comments into account along with the work of a consultant that it can relay into its plan. While Swiderski acknowledged deadlines are likely to be pushed, it is important to have a sense of urgency in order to be able to provide input on the longstanding project.

“We’ll move as quickly as we can,” he said.

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