The Clarkstown Planning Board’s public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a proposed for New City continues Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. In early May, the board heard from the community about the project proposed for South Mountain Road and North Little Tor Road. Planning Board Chairwoman Shirley Thormann said she continued the hearing so the public had more time to research the project and give O&R time to form responses to the issues raised.
About 50 area residents opposed the project with concerns about risk of fire, unsightliness, noise and environmental issues. Martus Granirer, president of the West Branch Conservation Association, said his organization hired an engineer to determine the amount of electromagnetic forces that could emanate from the proposed substation. He noted that electromagnetic forces have been associated with Leukemia.
He said there are plenty of unanswered questions.
“We’re not sure what the power is meant for,” Granirer said. “We’re doing what we can to get the fact that the planning board will need to get O&R to modify its plans or even hold off for awhile.”
He said he has asked about the capacity of a device that is at the site but has not received any information. Granirer said he is very aware of it because he can hear humming and believes it is temporary since it is on wheels. O&R spokesman Mike Donovan said the utility had to locate a temporary mobile transformer at the site because of the ongoing relocation of utility poles as part of the New Hempstead Road reconstruction.
A letter went out to residents in March explaining the purpose of the temporary unit. It is an alternate electric supply for 12,000 customers in the Little Tor/New Hempstead Road area of New City.
According to Donovan, O&R plans to make a brief presentation at the Clarkstown Planning Board.
West Branch is not the only organization to hire an expert because of the substation proposal. The Lake Lucille Property Owners Association paid for a study to have Allied Biological look at Lake Lucille.
O&R wants to construct a new electrical substation and upgrade an existing gas regulator on 10.2 acres at the corner of North Little Tor Road and South Mountain Road The street address is 549-555 North Little Tor Road.
The planning board has a second item on its agenda. That is also a public hearing and environmental review on a proposal from the Palisades Center and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The proposal is for construction of a 1,817-square-foot first floor vestibule and a 2,579-square-foot second floor vestibule to provide street level access for the proposed sporting goods store on two floors above the Bed, Bath & Beyond location.