Clarkstown Moves To Use Eminent Domain

West Nyack Property owner objects to town action.


The Clarkstown Town Board recently approved a motion to acquire property in West Nyack to build a new sewer pump station to replace an outdated one in a flood plain. Prior to the vote, the board held a public hearing on its plans to replace the pump station at 160 North Route 303 near North Greenbush Road. During the hearing it was disclosed after a year of negotiations the town made a purchase offer to property owner Hauser Brothers Holdings LLC on December 6 but it was rejected. The proposed purchase price was not discussed. 

Deputy Town Attorney Paul Schofield questioned Town Deputy Director of Operations Ralph Lauria about the site, which is near the former Journal News printing plant and office. Lauria said the sanitary sewer station was originally an ejector station and was built in 1973. 

“The station is past its life,” said Lauria. “It’s in a flood prone area.”

He said the flooding, which has reached as deep as six feet, comes from Route 59, Mountainview Avenue and Greenbush Road which are all uphill from the site.  Schofield next questioned David Hall of H2M, whose firm does consulting engineering work for the town.

Hall said he analyzed the existing system and recommended a new station be constructed uphill in a wooded area.  Hall explained the easement is needed to install a new sewer system in a location that will not get flooded and which can be safely operated by town employees. He added that the new facility would be built with a standby generator in case the power went out.  

After evaluating three other locations, Hall discounted them. He said the current lot is not large enough for a second pump station to be constructed while the first one is still there. A second site across Rute 303 also gets flooded and is too close to a residential home to be built. The third parcel considered is part of Mountainview Nature County Park and also in a flood prone area.

Attorney Robert Prier of Nyack, representing Hauser Brothers Holdings and Timothy Hauser, said his client objected to the town exercising eminent domain for a permanent easement. He said the town has not taken advantage of the easement it has. Prier also said he is contesting the town’s valuation of the property.

“Just for the record we reject the offer the town has made,” he stated. 

Town Director of Environmental Control Luke Kalarickal said the old pump station would be dismantled, the area restored to its original condition and the easement discontinued. The station serves 20 homes and five businesses. He said the proposed pump station would be 100 feet west of the exiting one, which occupies .4 acres. Town Attorney Amy Mele said the new easement would apply for .09 acres, approximately 3,800 square feet of the 4.3-acre site

During the January 15 meeting, Kalarickal said the new easement would not affect the existing buildings and parking areas. He described the plans for the structure as being similar in size and appearance to a residential property shed

Matthew Brennan January 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Clarkstown needs to use eminent domain to build another lane of traffic for Clarkstown South High School. The traffic is ridiculous backed up a mile in both directions every single morning. For the North South game it takes an hour to leave the parking lot. This is not fair to students, teachers, and parents. A bridge over that small stream would only require two concrete footings, three steel girders and some more poured concrete. It would be nice if someone could show some initiative on this issue.


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