Council to discuss creek project

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council will conduct a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall related to the state Environmental Quality Review process for a creek project on East Main Street.

Only one resolution is on the agenda, to adopt a SEQR “negative declaration” for a project involving the city’s right-of-way at 107 E. Main St. The property is next to the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, 109 E. Main St.

“The special meeting will be for a declaration resolution on the Comrie Creek project,” Mayor Vern Jackson said Tuesday.

The proposed resolution notes the city previously requested acquisition of certain limited lands to expand the city right-of-way at 107 E. Main St. for restoration of about 150 linear feet of Comrie Creek. This request, together with a short Environmental Assessment Form and other relevant information, defines the proposed SEQR action.

Council members are slated Monday to formally declare the project has no “significant adverse environmental impact” requiring preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The council in June approved a resolution executing a $15,000 agreement with engineering firm Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. of Albany for administrative services associated with the SEQR for the 107 E. Main St. property.

A previous city hydrologic and hydraulic study of Comrie Creek determined the “dilapidated structural conditions” of Comrie Creek at the property is likely limiting the hydraulic capacity and causing potential area flooding. A SEQR is needed before the next step, which is an internal review. The SEQR is also required if the city wants to secure a Dormitory Authority of the State of New York grant.

CIty officials have been dealing with the area west of the senior center since May 2, 2014 when an 18-inch sewer line pipe burst off East Main Street near the access road to the senior center. Culverts in that area were compromised where creek water flows. A giant sinkhole was created, the city had to close East Main Street from 30A to South Chase Street for several days.

Officials said at the time it was one of the largest sewer breaks in city history.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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