Monday, July 4, 2011

Is the Aldi store at the Jay-K intersection...

a boon - noun
...welcome benefit; blessing?

OR

a boondoggle - noun
...a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft?


Shortly after the Zoning Board of Appeals denied the use variance that was needed in order for the Aldi project to begin, the Kellys presented a request to the town board for a zoning map amendment change.

After a public hearing was held, the zoning change was unanimously approved by the town board with one abstention [Krupa who gave no reason for her abstention] thus allowing the Aldi store project to progress to the Planning Board for review.

At the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting, the Aldi project was approved with one dissenting vote...Jerome Donovan who felt that the board should place more importance on the DOT recommendation to base the traffic study on a potential full build-out of the entire property – not based just on the Aldi store.

The DOT representative at the June 13th Planning Board meeting stated that there have been 81 traffic accidents recorded at that intersection July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2010.

According to the Observer Dispatch:
"the DOT sent a letter to the Planning Board recommending that the board base the traffic study on a potential full build-out of the entire property – not based just on the Aldi store."
The Planning Board, however, approved the plan with a traffic study using projections based on the addition of only Aldi.
According to the Observer Dispatch, Planning Board Chair Elis DeLia said:
Planning Board Chairman Elis DeLia said he felt “very comfortable” approving the Aldi store based on the traffic studies provided because he has no reason to doubt what Kelly and his attorney told the board.

“We all know that intersection presents problems,” DeLia said. “I believe the property owner and DOT will ensure that the development impacts on that intersection will be as safe as possible.”
With the Planning Board approval on record, there remain many concerns over the potential impact on additional traffic generated by yet another retail business at the already congested intersection.

But, bottom line, the project was approved at the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting based on the Kellys assurance that they have no further projects planned at this time.

Only time will tell if that is the case; however, the Kellys and Sloans [who are related] own most of that corner to include parcels along Middlesettlement Road and it seems doubtful that they will not be looking for further development of their properties sooner or later.

The Aldi project is in the final stages of approval; the next step is to apply for a highway work permit from the DOT. Two DOT employees were at the June 13th Planning Board and expressed concerns regarding the project. Hopefully, their review process will require mitigation measures that will alleviate more traffic congestion at an intersection that is already on overload.

Here is the portion of the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting where the Aldi's application was being reviewed by the board and comments were made by the two DOT workers:



By the way, it was learned at the June 13th meeting that the landscaping business that occupies space at the entrance to the Jay-K Lumber store is actually situated partly on State owned land.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor J-K with Lowe's and Home Depot in the area the just need more income to keep them afloat. Money makes the world go around especially in New Hartford.

Clarence Darrow said...

There is no evidence of graft or corruption. You can say bad decision, you can say alot of things, but mentioning graft or corruption even as a definition is a poor choice of words. You can do better.

Anonymous said...

Clarence,

Perhaps you are reading too much into a definition? It is merely a definition of boondoogle taken directly from a dictionary.

The operative words in the definition are "often involving".

HOWEVER, NO WHERE does it say that this project DOES or DID involve graft! Nor did any other sentence in the blog allude to corruption even being a possibility.

However, "impractical project" sure sounds like it does fit the scenario.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Clarence Darrow might be a little too close to the situation to be objective. It's a definition for crying out loud!

This project should have never passed for a zoning change at the town board level, but no one stood up to vote it down. Even the councilman from the area involved voted yes knowing full well the traffic concerns that already exists at that intersection.

There are several other locations with vacant retail space that Aldis could have utilitized if they really wanted to come to New Hartford.

Also, I doubt anyone would buy up all those properties along Middlesettlement Road unless they had a "plan".

Anonymous said...

Excuse Me, Anonymous 1 & 2 (if you are indeed separate people)

Clarence is right to point out that the question posed to open the post does in fact use prejudicial language. The definition of boondoggle could have ended before the last phrase that refers to graft if the poser had wanted to ask if the project is a good thing or an impractical, poorly thought out thing. I imagine that the complete definition of boondoggle in the dictionary was actually quite a bit more than the short piece included in the title/question. It is in my dictionary. The person posing the question obviously chose to include that portion of the definition for its allusion to graft.

Clarence is right that using that kind of inflammatory rhetoric to introduce the subject prejudices the argument. This is too important a subject to cloud with innuendo. Let's stick to the facts.

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

For the sake of all the Clarence Darrows and Anonymous people out there, please check out definition #2 found on Merriam Webster.com. The definition WAS copied in its entirety.

If we had wanted to try to sway the public into believing there was a conspiracy, we would have come out and said so and given facts to back up our belief...we have never minced words in the past and we don't plan on doing so in the future.

May we suggest that all our critics start trying to write their own blogs so they can see for themselves how difficult it is to please everyone particularly when politics is involved. There is always someone out there that takes offense at some words for whatever reason whether they are part of the situation being mentioned or just have too much time on their hands.

The point of the blog was to ask whether the development at the intersection will benefit the town or the benefit will be overshadowed by an unwise decision at the town board level. Plain and simple...

Anonymous said...

How could anyone with the best interest of the town vote for this...It's probably the most dangerous intersection in NH...OH Well money talks... government has taken control away from the people...If we ever had any to start with...

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Cathy and Ed! Its too bad the OD does not have the courage to report as well as you.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Clarence darrow and anonymous 3 are:
1. The same person; and
2. WRONG!

More friends and family trying to distract from the main issues. But it looks like he failed, yet again! :-)