McKownville - Norwood

McKownville Improvement Association

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McKownville water and
storm drainage project
Improvements to stormwater drainage and the installation of new water lines in McKownville commenced in 2018, and continued through June 2020. For reasons explained here the construction project was interrupted; it was restarted and mostly completed by the new contractor in the 2022 construction season. Both the water mains and house lateral water pipes, and the storm drains and lateral stubs to individual properties, were completely installed in 2022. The project was  completed in 2023, with the installation of two additional yard drains, concrete sidewalk panels where temporary asphalt was placed for the winter, asphalt restorations of streets, including the Glenwood-Parkwood alley, and lawn restorations with topsoil and reseeding; all finished at the end of November 2023.

The Town distributed (late May 2023) a packet detailing the necessary actions all homeowners in the storm drain project area need to take for installation of a connection to the new storm drain lateral stubs, and inspection of these installations by the Town Water Department. Every basement in this area must be formally inspected to verify there is no connection of sump drains to the sanitary sewer system, including houses where the homeowner chooses not to install a connection to the storm drain system, or has no sump pump. This inspection must be made before 31 December 2023; call the Water Department at 518-486-6474 to set up an appointment. Download [printable scan pdf] the Town storm drain connection notice packet.

List of contractors (updated 2022-08-24) available to install sump pump - storm drain lateral connections for homeowners. Note that other contractors may be hired; this list is provided as a courtesy, and not as a requirement to choose from it.
Project summary presented by Delaware Engineering at the Association meeting of 19 October 2017. 
 Descriptions of the situation in 2010, and the reports and maps of the replacement work planned:
 Delaware Engineering reports and maps - on this website - on the Town of Guilderland website 
Construction project updates, FAQ's, status memos                  
  on this website: project updates, FAQ's, status memos
  on the Town of Guilderland website:   updates, FAQ documents, status memos  

McKownville - Country Club Highlands Historic District - Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The McKownville Improvement Association has always attempted to preserve the residential character of our neighborhood. Many of the houses were built during the early twentieth century, and the older parts of the neighborhood display a mix of home styles from that time. This blend of historic homes provides a pleasing contrast to the commercial development to the east and west, and increasing institutional growth to the north, and the recent multi-family development on Fuller Road.
Volunteers worked with the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to create a historic district to be listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Inclusion on these Registers will provide a measure of protection for our unique neighborhood. The historic district includes Waverly Place, the southerly portions of Norwood, Glenwood, Parkwood and Elmwood Streets, and the houses on the north side of Western Avenue from number 1421 west to Elmwood [map of the historic district].
The New York State Historic Preservation Office determined this section of McKownville to be eligible for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and the nomination and review process for the NY State Register of Historic Places was completed by the unanimous vote of approval at the meeting on 9th December 2021 of the NY State Board for Historic Preservation. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on 2nd June 2022. [Announcement by the McKownville Improvement Association].
More detail can be found in our Historic District page, and in the page on the proposal and the review process.

A successful application was made to the William G Pomeroy Foundation for a grant to obtain a Historic District roadside marker, under the sponsorship and with the assistance of the Guilderland Historical Society.
Design sponsorship of Historic District house plaques is also completed.

We hope that in the future additional portions of McKownville will be determined to be eligible and added to the initial Historic District.
Our History website section contains detailed information on the houses in and adjacent to the proposed historic district, and also includes an overview summary of the history of McKownville.

National Grid replacement of old gas supply piping (street main, and house laterals)
At the McKownville Improvement Association online meeting May 20th 2021, National Grid representatives stated that all gas in the work area north of Western Avenue (Elmwood St - City line) is now supplied by the new mains at medium pressure, and that all old mains in this area have been purged and retired. Restoration of Western Avenue sidewalk and adjacent areas was in progress. There were and still are unresolved complaints about inadequate "soft" area restorations on several of the side streets.
[Online meeting of 21 May 2020 zoom video segments: National Grid gas line replacement presentations; questions and answers]
National Grid representatives stated that they would put together a fact sheet on the project to be posted on the Town website, and on this website. Such a  document was never provided. Some preliminary information can be found in Town of Guilderland FAQ#6 - 30 March 2020      

Projects active or future

Street trees, and trees and shrubs for neighborhood yards - Plant McKownville
          McKownville logo
McKownville is fortunate to have a substantial population of mature trees along many of our residential streets. The Association has in the past sponsored a tree planting program to encourage replacement of street trees lost over the years. This year, we're looking forward to renewing and expanding the program, especially because the water main, stormwater and gas main project excavations have caused the removal of even more of our street trees.  We have opened discussions with the Town of Guilderland on ways that we might work together on a program to preserve our existing trees and replace many that have been lost.

A Master Gardener volunteer has compiled lists of trees and shrubs selected for their suitability to our climate, and soils, and for resistance to pests and diseases; many are native to our area. An introductory page briefly explains the practical considerations used for selection.
One list is of trees recommended for placement along the "street lawns", including tall varieties, and a separate section of those with lower mature heights suitable for planting beneath utility cables.
Two other lists are also provided of recommended trees, and shrubs, for planting in neighborhood yards.
There is also a page containing a selection of online and book reference resources.
Planting a mixture of species is now preferred, so that insect pests and fungal diseases are less likely to damage or kill many or all of a neighborhood tree population. Native varieties provide a food web to native butterflies, moths, and birds, unlike many non-native varieties.  We encourage any resident thinking of planting new trees and shrubs on their property to study these lists and the detailed descriptions provided, and to choose from them varieties to plant.

Traffic calming

The Association is supporting efforts to reduce the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph on Western Avenue from the Albany city line to the Northway.
Future efforts for improving pedestrian and street safety are anticipated, especially requesting actions to eliminate cut-through speeders on streets suffering from this menace.

Children's Halloween Party
The Association, in collaboration with the McKownville Fire Department, has for many years helped to organize and run a Halloween party for neighborhood children and their parents at the Firehouse.

Improvements in McKownville Reservoir park
The park lacks a sign, the gazebo originally planned is not present, and a replacement of the memorial tree for Sue Brown is needed.....

Neighborhood cleanup events
In years past, an annual cleanup has been held at the McKownville Reservoir park adjacent to Stuyvesant Plaza.

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