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Waterfront Advisory Committee Minutes 05/04/04



MEMBERS PRESENT:   WAC -  Fran Allen, WAC Chair
                                                        Ann Gallelli
                                        Charles Kane
                                        Leo Wiegman                     

                               WCC  - Stuart Greenbaum, WCC Chair
                                                         Mary Cain
                                                         Mark Goldfarb
                                          Vita Rhodes
                                          Jason Stern                           

ALSO PRESENT:   Richard Herbek, Village Manager
                                Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer
                                Charles Pound, President of Aqua Dredge
                         Yacht Club Representatives

The meeting came to order at 7:30 P.M.

Ms. Allen explained that the WAC and the WCC were meeting jointly to review the proposed Croton Yacht Club Dredging Project. The Village has declared its intent to become the lead agency for the project and has asked the WAC and WCC to review and make comments on the dredging proposal. Though the two groups have different responsibilities in the SEQRA process both needed to first understand the project in more detail.

Mr. Herbek suggested he discuss Village goals for this area of the waterfront before we looked at project specifics. The Village intends to accomplish a number of things here. One is to build a great lawn at Croton Landing. That is part of the waterfront Feasibility Study and has been discussed at many meetings.  We want a great lawn that can be used for a variety of village activities. Another goal is to make the Yacht Club basin usable. It is silting up. Two or three times over the years the Village has attempted to dredge it by mechanical means. These have been joint projects done in cooperation with the Yacht Club.  The village is the owner of the property and we lease the property to the Yacht Club.  All of the underwater land is village property. Another goal, combined with the Storm Water Management Plan, is to clean out the drainage culvert emptying into the north-east corner of the Yacht Club basin. It is now more than half full of sediment so it  is not efficient anymore. The stream through the culvert runs underneath Brook Street buildings, then under the railroad tracks and into the basin. Another goal we would like to achieve is to have the bulkhead along the roadway improved.  The road from Senasqua Park to the Yacht Club needs a proper road width.  Our goal is to have that completed by the end of 2004 or in 2005.  We have completed the dredging of the duck pond with the removal of approximately 6,000 cubic yards. That material was trucked to Croton Landing for dewatering. It is organic material and we have been having difficulties getting rid of it. We may need to solve that problem before we dredge the Yacht Club Basin.

Mr. Pound then discussed the plans and status of the dredging project. There are two components of the project: dredging the Basin and the disposal of the dredged material. Mr. Pound said hydraulic dredging, the type proposed, is a straight-forward project.  The yacht club has a bulkhead, a stream, and a harbor entranceway that will be closed up by a curtain installed to stop material from seeping out of the Basin.  The dredge itself is a small dredge, 8 ft. wide.  The material will be sucked into the vortex of a pump through an 8 in. pipeline that is welded into one solid pipeline so there are no leaks. The dredged material is pumped to a retention area on Croton Landing for de-watering. Before de-watering the amount of material taken out of the Yacht Club Basin is about the same as the amount from the Duck Pond, approximately 6,000 cubic yards. As it de-waters the material will shrink over time, normally over 3 months, to approximately 3,000 cubic yards.

The project is subject to DEC and ACoE (Army Corps of Engineers) approvals. Disposal options are determined by regulations governing the classification of the material to be dredged. There are three classes.  Class 1 is completely clean material that can be used anywhere. Class 2 is slightly contaminated material that must be encapsulated and covered. Class 3 materials are contaminated and need to go to special landfills. The Yacht Basin has been tested and the material classified as class 2 because of lead is slightly above the class 2 lower limits. The reviewing agency will consider the specifics of the test results together with the use of the disposal area to determine impoundment specifics, particularly the depth of the cap. We may not receive this information for several months. (It was sent in on April 8, 2004.).

There was considerable discussion on the containment area, particularly its size and construction. In order to get the capacity needed the berm will be eight feet high. By going down two feet into the ground only a six-foot berm would be needed. Mr. Pound said very little, if any, water would percolate into the ground. The system would return water to the basin as part of  the de-watering process. Mr. Herbek asked if the Duck Pond dredged material could be used in constructing the berm. Mr. Pound indicated that the stability of that material as a berm would need to be determined but he believed it could work. In a response to a question about the amount of encapsulation required for class 2 material, Mr. Pound said the state permit will tell us exactly what has to be done.

Mr. Pound noted that filed application does not contemplate using the material from the duck pond.  Test digs were done to determine how deep down the containment structure could go.  It was determined that they can go down two feet so the current plan is to go down two feet. The application has already been filed.  He did not contemplate using the materials from the Duck Pond. He indicated, however, that the use of Duck Pond materials was possible.

Mr. Wiegman pointed out that the drawings show excavation three feet below the current existing grade.  How does that square with what we just heard or does this predate the test holes on that side?  Mr. Pound said that plan pre-exists the testing. Mr. Kane then asked about Hudson River water intrusion at high tide. Mr. Pound  indicated that a plastic liner could be used.

Ms. Allen pointed out that the December 2001, Waterfront Feasibility Study indicated that the area is in the Federal Emergency Flood Hazard Area and within a probable one-hundred year flood plain. It said the soil is composed of fill from unknown origins. (There was originally a blacktop plant in that area.)  Soil boring tests of one to two feet found a mixture of fine to medium sand, brick, and asphalt.  This is based on a study done in 1986 by Tim Miller.

Mr. O’Connor indicated that the flood plain would be part of the DEC review since it was in the EAF.

The question of dredging the Brook Street culvert outlet area came up. Mr. O’Connor said the amount of sediment in that culvert is one hundred to three hundred yards. He does not know if the baffle separating the culvert and the marina is permanent or cleaning can be done behind it. The question of dredging the culvert outflow was not decided.  

A member of the audience asked how loud the project would be. Mr. Pound said it was the same as a truck running at idle. At fifty feet it is 55 decibels.

Mr. Wiegman referred to a map showing where the water will be pumped and dewatered.  He asked why this location was selected. It is where the Duck Pond material is currently located Mr. O’Connor replied that it was a good work location and not located in the  Beaver Kill area.

Ms Allen asked how junk such as tires and pieces of the old barge are being handled. The current decision is to leave it the river.

The two boards discussed their specific issues preparatory to submitting their review. .

Mr. Greenbaum indicated that he did not see any issues that pertain to the WCC responsibilities.  The question is: what is the impact of the dredging on the river?  Looking at all the material before us, there is not sufficient impact as far as fish, plant life, etc.  Weighting the props and the cons, this is a vital resource and recreational resource.  I do not see where the Water Control Commission would have any objection, provided there would be no negative impact on the river. Mr. Herbek pointed out that the Water Control Commission would need to determine if a Wetlands Activity Permit is required.

Ms. Allen then turned to WAC’s Coastal Management Federal Consistency Assessment Form. This was reviewed in detail. Board members noted that the CAF had not been clear about which aspect of the project was being covered: the dredging or the bermed storage area.  Ms Allen asked that the form be revised to address the entire project.

Ms.  Allen then asked the WAC members what to recommend.

Mrs. Gallelli said the project addressed the stated goals of the village. It took care of the siltation problems at the yacht club, and at the same time looked to meet the goals of   Croton Landing.  The two can be accomplished in consistence with the Coastal Management Policy.  We would be looking for more details that would be coming from the New York State DEC.

Given the state of the project plans the WAC will review it again when the project proposal is completed.

The Board agreed to close the discussion and issue a preliminary finding of consistency as well as request additional materials. The WAC will review it again when more information is available.

Discussion Closed.


Janice Fuentes
Acting Secretary to the WAC
Secretary to the WCC
(This version is a summary by Fran Allen of the original minutes.)