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Waterfront Committee Faces Bigger Job Than Before

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – After officially announcing the members of the volunteer waterfront infrastructure committee, Hastings mayor Peter Swiderski said the group will be facing an even bigger assignment than previously thought.

“It’s a more detailed charge,” Swiderski said. “It’s an aggressive charge.”

Originally the committee was put together to help British Petroleum plan where underground infrastructure would go at the waterfront site. Swiderski said they will now also be tasked with creating a memorandum that includes the location of, and key features of parks, an esplanade, roads, water access points for boats and utility infrastructure than can be built during the remediation of the site.

“I think it’s comprehensive and specific enough to let them take it and run,” said trustee Jeremiah Quinlan, who will continue to aide the board as a waterfront consultant once he vacates his position next month.

The board of trustees settled on eight Hastings residents to comprise the volunteer committee with a wealth of experience in a variety of fields.

“Half of that committee has deep experience with the waterfront, a lot of mental energy there,” Swiderski said. “The other half brings a fresh perspective.”

Originally the committee was supposed to be seven members, but Swiderski said the board had many difficult decisions while selecting the finalists.

“We had a tough time whittling it down to that seven, so we made it eight,” Swiderski said.

The board has allocated $30,000 for the committee, which will mostly be used on a consultant to help structure the process, run the meetings and assist with the final report and recommendations to the board.

The next step for the waterfront cleanup is for the committee to set its first meeting and then start working on the logistics of the plan. While Swiderski said the group will be faced with a tall order, he said minute details don’t need to be finalized, but decision on structures like a park must be made.

“You can’t plan where a park goes if you don’t know what it’s going to be used for,” Swiderski said. “Whatever those uses are we need to have a public decision.”

The residents selected for the committee are Douglass Alligood, Richard Bass, Jeffrey Gaspar, Kerry Gould-Schmit, Lee Kinnally, Guy Sliker, Brian Steinwurtzel and Edward Weinstein. All meetings of the committee will be open to the public at a location to be named later.

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