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Hastings Waterfront Project Nears Next Step

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The waterfront has been a contentious topic in the Rivertowns for years and the project in Hastings may finally be taking a few of the next steps in the coming months.

“That begs a discussion that we’ve managed to avoid having but need to have,” said Hastings mayor Peter Swiderski.  “The question is how you have that discussion.”

Swiderski also addressed this ongoing concern in a message to residents last week when he answered several popular questions: contamination and pollution in the water are widely regarded as the biggest issues with the waterfront.

“In short, the site is one of the most contaminated sites in the northeast, both on and off shore, with quantities of metals and PCBs, including forms of PCB literally not found elsewhere,” Swiderski said in his message to residents.

The village is still waiting on a final document from the state as to how the water will be cleaned up, which will subsequently be released to the public for comments and review for a period of 60 days.  Swiderski said BP has offered to lay the infrastructure for conduits as long as the village tells it where to put them.

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.

“Engineers will look at what’s feasible and that’s a good starting point,” said trustee Meg Walker.

Swiderski reminded residents that this doesn’t mean any decisions on what will actually be at the waterfront need to be made yet.

“This opportunity to provide input for engineering study is just too great to lose,” Swiderski said.

The plan for the cleanup of the waterfront land portion has already been decided, but BP is awaiting guidance from the state as to how the water will be cleaned of contamination so essentially it is a planning issue, Swiderski said.  The board of trustees discussed plans to bring in experts to discuss feasible options of what to actually construct at the waterfront so the village can move forward with providing info to engineers.

“We’re really putting the pedal to the metal,” Walker said.

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