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Gloversville looks to fix stormwater issue at NLH

GLOVERSVILLE — City officials are reportedly working with engineers at Nathan Littauer Hospital to remedy a longstanding issue surrounding stormwater runoff near the hospital’s main entrance that has been impacting neighboring residential properties.

City officials were apprised of the ongoing issue in August when neighboring property owner Sandra Darling appeared before the Common Council asking the city to step in to find a solution to the excess of stormwater runoff from the hospital’s East State Street entrance, pointing to a culvert running underneath the hospital’s main access road as the apparent culprit. Darling indicated the problem has worsened over the years with stormwater runoff from the hospital spilling onto neighboring residential properties, causing damage and weakening the foundation of one resident’s pool while also leaving behind large quantities of standing water in yards that pose a potential safety hazard.

Fire Chief Thomas Groff during that meeting was reportedly unfamiliar with a potential culvert issue on the site, but noted that issues with stormwater runoff from the hospital were raised by the city Planning Board in 2018 when construction of a single story primary care center was proposed on the existing hospital campus that would have required extensive alterations and improvements to existing parking lots and alteration to the hospital heliport.

Plans were later revised to call for the construction of a two-story primary care center that reduced the footprint of the building by roughly 6,000 square feet and eliminated the need to make alterations to the parking lots and heliport. The Planning Board approved the site plan application for the revised project in 2019 and construction of the building is currently well underway. The project was not subject to stormwater disturbance regulations as the construction site is less than an acre in size.

Councilman-at-Large William Rowback Jr. updated the Common Council on efforts to resolve the stormwater runoff issue on Tuesday. Rowback, Building Inspector David Fox and Department of Public Works Director Christopher Perry reportedly met with Nathan Littauer Hospital’s engineering staff last week to discuss a course of action after the city issued the hospital a 30-day notice to remedy.

Rowback reported that hospital officials plan to have catch basins on the property cleaned and inspected by camera to identify any problems within the sewer system that could be contributing to the excess in stormwater runoff.

Additionally, Rowback shared that sandbags are expected to be placed along the main hospital entrance on East State Street to prevent stormwater runoff from flowing onto neighboring properties.

“There may be several other remedies going forward as the discovery process unfolds,” added Perry. “I think initially it’s just going to be a process of elimination.”

As measures to resolve the issue are implemented, city officials acknowledged the need to monitor the site following any substantial rainfall in the future to determine their efficacy.

Rowback noted that the neighboring property owners who brought the issue to the council have been notified of efforts to remedy the problem. The council members plan to continue to monitor efforts to address the situation going forward with its addition to the council’s meeting agenda under old business to ensure it is continually reviewed until it is fully resolved.

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