Developers for two proposals at the upper end of North Chestnut Street in New Paltz are eager to get their mixed-use projects up and running, but there’s some concern about how to split up the cost of expected sewer upgrades. A discussion over paying for a study of the question at the April 12 village board meeting signaled how those future conversations might go.
The properties are at 137 and 145 North Chestnut Street — the former Gateway and Agway buildings, respectively. The consultants and one of the investors for the former were at the April 12 meeting, when trustees were preparing to reject a proposal to split the cost of the engineering study three ways: among the two developers, with the remaining share to be shouldered by existing sewer district ratepayers. Scott Arnold, the investor and a local business owner, allowed consultants to take a somewhat posture before gently pushing back and ultimately agreeing to pay for half of the estimated $8,000 study.
What makes the old Gateway building different, argues Arnold, is that it’s already in the sewer district. That means that the capacity of the 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility was already in the mix. While more will be needed for the proposed 50,000-square-foot mixed-use development, the neighboring Agway property wasn’t in the district, which means anything going in there will be an entirely new stream of poop.
Complicating the conversation was the fact that the pump station across the street has been in need of repairs for quite some time; there is presently hope that a federal grant will come through for that work. Mayor Tim Rogers did point out, however, that while that work will be costly, it won’t require a study. The study is to determine what upgrades would be needed to the pump station and forced main to accommodate these expanded uses. According to the mayor, it was always understood that developers would be funding any sewer upgrades to utilize the neighborhood-business-residential zoning district; precisely how that cost is split, it seems, will be up for debate.