Site plans for Parkhurst stalled over stormwater management

GLOVERSVILLE — Questions regarding a proposed stormwater management measures and offsite storm sewer infrastructure will prolong plans for the redevelopment of Parkhurst Field.

Parkhurst Field Foundation Executive Director David Karpinski and C. T. Male Associates Director of Engineering Chad Kortz appeared before the Planning Board Tuesday to answer questions regarding redevelopment plans for the field that were first presented to the board in August.

The 9.6 acre property currently consists of three baseball fields, two T-ball fields, one softball field and several smaller fields.

Redevelopment plans call changes such as for the construction of four new regulation baseball diamonds, a stadium and spectator seating. The existing softball field will remain in its current location and the two T-ball fields will be reconfigured.

Included among the five regulation baseball fields, will be the premier field featuring a grandstand with seating for about 475 spectators.

The redevelopment will be performed in three phases with three fields due to be constructed at the northern end of the site along Industrial Parkway with walkway access and a T-ball field at the southern end during phase one.

Phase two will include the construction of the premier field and grandstand, restrooms, concession stand, the second T-ball field and new parking areas will be created with access from Harrison Street and Industrial Parkway.

Phase three of the project will involve landscaping and the construction of batting cages and field lighting.

Also planned for the second phase is the implementation of stormwater management measures utilizing bioretention areas that hold up to six inches of water that is retained, treated and slowly released as runoff in accordance with state Department of Environmental Conservation requirements.

According to Kortz, this measure is expected to reduce the rate of site runoff below the current output, but city officials questioned whether the system would be sufficient and whether the city’s current storm sewer infrastructure on Harrison Street can adequately convey the field’s output.

The board members pointed out that presently rainwater tends to collect along the perimeter of Parkhurst Field along Harrison Street, but according to Building Inspector Brandon Myers it is currently unclear where the water goes from there.

“DPW actually exposed that pipe and located it, now we’ve made some more progress in terms of finding that the water there that runs across Harrison Street actually goes to an unknown area,” Myers said. “It just filters through a bunch of wood, there’s no evidence that there’s a structure or catch basin and what we think is it actually goes on the Taylor property into a structure.”

Myers relayed to the board that the city retained Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. to review the site plan for the project as it relates to stormwater management and Department of Public Works Director Dale Trumbull is currently researching the situation.

“To really answer the question if this conveyance system can handle this water — whether it’s less or more — you really have to do a study of the watershed, because that determines what’s actually going into the pipe. If the pipe is already exceeded by the drainage that’s going to it then this being less, it’s like so what,” Myers said.

Myers said that he could complete calculations with oversight from GPI to assess the current system.

“At least to give us some measure of comfort that the system has integrity and can handle it even when there’s less water coming off the site,” Myers said.

But Kortz and Karpinski questioned whether the offsite system’s capabilities should be considered in relation to the project given that the rate of the field’s stormwater output will be reduced following development.

“We’re controlling what we can control to make the infrastructure that we’re discharging to moderately better than it is today. We don’t, unfortunately, control the rest of the watershed nor the infrastructure that we’re discharging to,” Kortz said.

“Who’s responsible outside our 9 acres to identify the city’s infrastructure, where it goes if we’re not contributing anything more to that infrastructure? It’s an expense that could bear on this project, it certainly could stall the project and had we put more water into that system I could almost understand the question, but it’s outside the jurisdiction of this property,” Karpinski added.

GPI raised additional questions regarding plans for Parkhurst Field’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan in a letter to Planning Board Chairman James Anderson on Aug. 30. The letter requested that additional details and calculations be provided on the site plan regarding bioretention areas, grading, landscaping, geotechnical data, infiltration tests, groundwater conditions, maintenance agreements and erosion and sediment control practices.

The Planning Board agreed with Kortz and Karpinski that offsite issues should not impact the project if it will reduce stormwater runoff rates, but concluded that additional information would be required from both the city and the developers before a determination on the project is made.

The Planning Board opened a public hearing on the project during the meeting and unanimously approved a motion to leave the public hearing open until the outstanding questions on the project are satisfied. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Additionally, the board approved a motion to declare itself lead agency over the Parkhurst Field project, before approving a motion to delay issuing a State Environmental Quality Review determination until further plan information has been supplied.