The Village of New Paltz has gone out to bid for its stream daylighting project. This project proposes to unearth a buried stream, beginning at the top of the Peace Park at the intersection of Plattekill Avenue and Hasbrouck Street, and allow it to run over a rock riverbed between Hasbrouck Avenue and the existing park. From there the stream would go back underground at the base of the park, where there will remain one ingress/egress from the Village Hall parking lot towards the SUNY campus, and then it would continue near the “pit,” the area of undeveloped land behind Village Hall.
This proposal was brought forth by mayor Jason West after he investigated the costs of having to repair a broken culvert pipe, which would require having to tear up the stream, replace the pipe and repave it, or go with a sustainable infrastructure method called “daylighting,” which is now being promoted by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“Originally our architects had placed the plausible cost of repairing the culvert, covering the stream back up at $112,000. With Dave [Clouser]’s recommendation to consider stream daylighting and open the water flow up with landscaping and swales and the expansion of our Peace Park, the plausible number came in at approximately $120,000,” said West when the proposal was first brought to the table.
When the article came out in the New Paltz Times, West was contacted by the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz, who are working on similar projects, and they committed $25,000 toward the project, bringing the projected cost down. “It’s much less than what a traditional remedy would cost and it expands our park, brings a stream back into the village, provides greater stormwater management and is an inspiration to do more projects like this,” said West.
Deputy mayor Rebecca Rotzler, who was not on the board at the time that the project was discussed and approved, said that she has followed the project from the beginning and is a “huge supporter of it. What’s not to like? It saves the village money, it increases the beauty of the park and expands our existing park!” she said.
Trustee Sally Rhoads concurred. “I’ve supported this from the beginning and it will be a beautiful addition to our park and our village. The stream will run through the park, along a rock bed with plantings and landscaping that will provide a natural groundwater treatment system, but also be enjoyed by the public.”