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Local News

April 11, 2013

Water at issue in Blodgett project

Locals question city, project leaders

Residents’ questions and comments about the impact of storm water runoff, water supply and sanitary sewer services will help in assessing environmental impacts of a proposed student apartment complex, the Planning Commission chairman said Wednesday night.

Newman Development Group of Vestal has proposed building Hillside Commons, a four-story, 330-bed student apartment complex on Blodgett Drive in the city. The proposal has drawn opposition and concerns from some residents, landlords and business owners.

On Wednesday night, officials representing the development firm and the city of Oneonta reviewed project details during a meeting of the Planning Commission, which is reviewing the environmental impact of the proposed complex.

About 65 people, not including city planners, engineers and other officials, attended the meeting at Oneonta High School that planners called to focus on water-related issues of the proposed building, which is to be constructed on a hillside. 

Some speakers raised other concerns, including about road accessibility to the neighborhood by emergency vehicles and personnel, meeting infrastructure costs and a requested tax abatement. But most questions and comments remained on topic, with city officials redirecting speakers a few times.

Residents were concerned about the flow of storm water, whether the city water supply was sufficient to meet development needs and about geological factors on the hillside.

Development plans propose building a storm water retention pond to control drainage, engineers said, and diverting some flow from going up College Park Drive, historically a problem area, to a new 15-inch line on Bugbee Road that connects into the existing storm sewer system on Bugbee.

The existing 6-inch/8-inch water main line along Blodgett Drive isn’t sufficient, engineers said, and the recommendation is to install a new 12-inch water main, which would also serve current users. The existing sewer line on Blodgett and Bugbee can handle the flows from the proposed development, they said.

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