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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 4, 2010

Energy to expand
Plastic to pour into NEIP

By Jo E. Prout

GUILDERLAND — Even as New York Independent Systems Operators plans to consolidate its workforce away from its Guilderland site, it plans to build a 13,000-square-foot addition on its property here to store equipment. The town planning board last week gave NYISO site-plan approval for its addition.

Also, a plastic cartridge manufacturing company hopes to open in May at the Northeastern Industrial Park. The company could employ up to 50 people.

NYISO is a not-for-profit organization based in the Capital Region that controls the regional flow of electricity.

The planning board approved the NYISO building addition on Carman Road, after suggesting, but not requiring, the construction of a sidewalk for its employees.

Architect Jonathan Draper, of Woodward, Connor, Gillies, Seleman Architects in Albany, said that no staff members would be working in the new addition meant for equipment. The designers are “limiting enhancements to areas affected by the addition,” Draper said.

“People go over the berm now,” said town Planner Jan Weston.

Draper said that Creighton-Manning Engineers are designing the addition. Some generators will be eliminated or rendered no longer operational, he said. The project calls for only minor modifications to the water line, and none to the sanitary line, Draper said. Storm water will be handled by an open system, he said. Planning board members noted that an existing sidewalk did not show on the plan submitted to them.

A call to NYISO representatives was not returned before press time.

Board members Paul Caputo and James Cohen recused themselves from the discussion because of personal and business-related reasons. The board voted 5 to 0 in favor of the site plan, with board members Kimberly Jones, Michael Cleary, Thomas Robert, Terry Coburn, and Chairman Stephen Feeney voting.

New NEIP business

The planning board approved Fishbach USA’s site plan to construct two silos near its new manufacturing base in the Northeastern Industrial Park.

Tom Andress, of ABD Engineers and Surveyors in Schenectady, said that the manufacturing facility is 47,000 square feet. The 12-foot-diameter silos require a height variance, he said, as they are 59 feet high. Weston noted during the board’s agenda review that other structures within the industrial park are higher.

The site also requires a special-use permit because it will change from a warehouse to a manufacturing facility, he said.

Approximately two rail cars of plastic pellets per month will enter the site, where the pellets will be vacuumed into the silos, Andress said.

“This is a clean operation — no dust,” he said.

Russ Elster, a Fishbach representative, said that the site will use four injection molding systems to make cartridges like those that caulking and other supplies are sold in. The plastic will cool in the molds, he said. The site will use about 500 gallons of water per day, which is only enough for its employees’ needs, Feeney said.

“We’re only making the cartridge,” Elster said. “No waste. Anything left over will be sold. It all has a market value.”

“Fishbach is critical to the Capital District and the community,” said David Buicko, the chief operating officer for the Northeastern Industrial Park. He said that construction on the facility is 90 percent complete now.

Elster said that, if all town approvals are given soon, the company could start shipping cartridges May 3.

Other business

In other business, the planning board:

— Kept a public hearing open for Thomas Paonessa’s request to subdivide 1.5 acres on Norfolk Street into four lots. Five additional proposed lots are adjacent to the property in the town of Bethlehem.

David Ingalls, of Ingalls and Associates in Schenectady, said that shallow, four-foot drywells would be used to accommodate run-off, but that some water would be diverted.

“Will they, in fact, work?” Feeney asked.

Feeney said that the town does not know specifically where the property line is. According to, Bill West, the town’s water superintendent, an agreement between the two towns must be reached, Feeney said.

“We can’t be here for final. There’s no metes and bounds on the map,” Feeney said. “Who lives where, and who are we serving, and are we maintaining a road in the town of Bethlehem?”

Board member Caputo said that the Guilderland conservation committee found a dog shelter that is in use on one of the properties. He wanted the developer to be aware of the animal, Caputo said.

“We certainly can’t hold you up forever,” Feeney said, noting that the parallel procedure in Bethlehem will also move along.

The board agreed to keep the public hearing open to “try to progress the application and deal with issues,” Feeney said;

— Approved a request by Veli Hysenllari to subdivide .21 acres on Fliegel Avenue into two lots, on one of which his daughter wants to build a house. The plan submitted showed a 10-foot side yard, but town standards call for a 12.5-foot side yard, and the final plan must meet the new requirements;

— Approved a request by Edward Pagoda for his two-lot subdivision of 1.11 acres on Depot Road; and

— Approved a site plan for the proposed new Westmere firehouse at 1741 Western Avenue. The project would abandon 140 feet of sewer pipe and its easement, and install 210 feet of pipe on its easement. In two phases, the current buildings on the site would be demolished, and a larger, 20,000 square-foot building installed in their place. (For the full story, go online to www.altamontenterprise.com and look under Guilderland archives for Jan. 21, 2010.)

Feeney said that the plan by C.T. Male engineers should create a direct pedestrian crossing; provide parallel parking that meets the standard 23 feet, and not 18 feet as shown on the initial drawing; and include a landscaping plan.

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