Herkimer Hydraulic Canal No Longer Exists Yet Lowers Property Values

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Final phase of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal project is finished. (View from East Smith Street toward the Mohawk River.)
A section of the now completed Hydraulic Canal project, looking toward the Mohawk River from East Steele Street. Despite the out-of-date FEMA Flood maps, the area is no longer a flood risk

by Linda Kaidan
The map is not the territory. Alfred Korzybski

What is Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal? How does it impact FEMA flood designations which influence both property values and the cost of flood insurance?

In the 1830’s Herkimer, NY was home to several major industries including furniture manufacturing and a paper mill. Local companies made use of hydraulic energy to power their production enabled by the construction of the Herkimer Hydraulic Canal. The canal’s water originated in West Canada Creek.

Ancient map of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.
Ancient map of Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.

Eventually, the canal was no longer used and became a dumping site and a flood hazard. By 2021, a remediation project succeeded in making the hydraulic canal area much safer. The former Herkimer Hydraulic Canal is now cleaned, filled in, and flood safe. It is now a lovely green space. Newer parts are fenced off and hopefully will become a village park that leads to the banks of the Mohawk River.

Herkimer Hydraulic Canal(left). View from East Steele St.
Hydraulic Canal (left) where it crosses beneath East Steele Street and continues on to the Mohawk River to the right.

If you think your property has incorrect FEMA flood zoning you can submit a zoning change to FEMA!

It appears that remediation has not yet become part of the FEMA flood risk map commonly used by realtor.com. FEMA still shows this area as a dangerous flood zone (FEMA flood map-featured image-top). It continues to adversely impact local property values and gives potential home buyers concern.
If you are selling a home along the former hydraulic canal please contact FEMA to change your flood zone rating using this link.  If you are planning on getting flood insurance, you should also consider examining your FEMA designation and make an effort to correct it where applicable. It can save you from higher premiums!

The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.
The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.

Herkimer Soars As Americans Migrate From Coasts

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s soaring into a brave new world, as people migrating from our coasts to climate and pandemic safety zones such as upstate New York move here, contending briskly for homes. A house in our cute conveniently located village seems to sell every 90 seconds, even as prices continue ever upward. The sharp-eyed will have spotted license plates from as far away as Alaska and Washington state, California and Texas, with the Carolinas and Florida well-represented. 

There are a phenomenal number of people scoping out our once forgotten area. Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Mohawk Valley, centered on Herkimer, have had over 4 million views. In the last 30 days, The Herkimer Post has enjoyed almost 15,000 page views, 90% of them from new visitors. We have a well-earned reputation for telling it as it is. And you do want to know how it is there before you commit to someplace new. (“We Publish What They Won’t” proclaims our masthead. We are not “The Herkimer Happy Hour.”)

Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21
Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21

When the eviction moratorium ends, we’ll probably see more houses for sale here as nonpaying tenants are moved on and battered owners decide to wash their hands of what was once a safe, reliable investment. Even then there won’t be enough housing stock to meet the press of the demand.

Historically in boom times, undeveloped land is the next to go. Given the rapid growth of chip manufacturing in Upstate, notably Cree in Utica, this region may become the new Silicon Valley. Hopefully, New York will impose strict controls on growth. I hope we won’t see our magnificent countryside crammed with houses and choked by traffic. 

Climate change projected to improve Herkimer NY economy

 

NYC’s 2019 Homeless Housing Budget of $3.2 Billion Can Build .35 Million People Affordable Homes

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By Linda Kaidan
The above cabin exclusive of interior finishes was constructed by one person in 6 months for $8,000. As the nation faces a housing and food crisis of major proportion, simple solutions can make a huge difference. We have been governed by customs and rules that work against us in this pandemic. We need to use the resources we have intelligently to hold off the chaos that starvation and homelessness bring.

We can economically provide food, housing and self-sufficiency

Using the labor of those in need, inexpensive materials, and existing education programs to ramp up quickly we can achieve multiple goals at the same time.  In New York state our budget can come from ending the absurd practice of using welfare hotels as housing. Key to our success would be the suspension of building regulations to enable crisis housing and the use of trending off-grid methods of heating, power, housing construction, water collection-purification and waste incinerating toilets.

What has been one year’s budget for New York state’s homeless would fund construction of semi-permanent residences, workplaces and food growing facilities serving thousands of people for years to come. A single modified shipping container can house 8 people, 2 per room, with a private entrance. In the following example, housing for 8 people is created, with potential expansion from 80 ft to 480 feet per unit. A budget of $9,000 per person would pay for a multi-unit structure at a cost of $72,000. The structure would utilize green energy, water collected from rain, black water reduction and home gardens.

Before Covid-19 things were already spectacularly bad for those in New York State seeking housing. Now they are even worse as employers close their doors and shed jobs. Just last year, the budget for New York City’s homeless was $3.2 billion for 133,000 people, 1/3 of whom were children.  Will this be another Great Depression? It need not be, when we to do things differently.

$3.2 billion can build .35 million people affordable homes that will last for many years

Using my onetime $9,000 per person figure for 15+ years of housing and the 2019 NYC homeless housing budget, we can solve our housing crisis by helping individuals and families build their own sustainable homes and gardens for a total of (3.2*(10**9)/9000 = .35 million people). And we can do that for many years, not just one year.

 

Marcy’s Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage

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Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage
Marcy magnet for home sales in central NY

by Linda Kaidan

As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.

Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.

Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data.  The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I  also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.

Distance to Marcy in miles Towns
1-10 Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
11-20 Herkimer
21-30 Little Falls, German Flats

The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.

In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.

Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.

As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of  an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million.  In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers  relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.

A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart.  Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.

Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.

It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible  housing alternatives. 

 

Corona Virus is a Global Pandemic: Protect yourself!

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global pandemic Corona Virus:Protect yourself
Corona Virus is on every inhabited continent.

The Corona Virus has spread worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports today, February 26, 2020 that 81,000 people have contracted Corona virus worldwide and 2,762 have died from it.  Based on these numbers we can see that 2762/81000 or 0.03409 – about 1 in every 29.4 people infected have died.

Although it’s tough to get a protective mask now as they are generally out of stock, you can make your own n95 mask.

New York Times says keep 2-week supply of necessities on hand

Prepare for shortages of basic goods such as food, medicine and cleaning supplies. Keep at least 2 weeks of food on hand at all times. This afternoon I purchased a large bag of rice, dried beans, corn tortillas, canned tomatoes, fruit, peanut butter, jam, dried pasta and sauce.  This food can keep fresh without refrigeration for a year or more and is fairly nutritious.

More safety measures

NYT also recommends avoiding crowds, washing frequently and getting a flu vaccination. Keep yourself as healthy as possible by eating healthy food and exercising. Your immune system is your best protection.

People in China have called the Corona outbreak a zombie apocalypse and it has wreaked havoc on the country that is a major supplier of manufactured goods and foods we take for granted. Corona has had major adverse effects on China’s economy. We need to take this under advisement to protect our own well being as this airborne virus which can be asymptomatic for more than 18 days continues to spread.

Improve community welfare – Act Now

In our own community we should make certain to work towards community welfare. This includes creating the resources we require to function locally in times of supply chain uncertainty.  Let’s start now by creating a hotline for volunteer services and action groups including a community garden and kitchen. When we are as self-sufficient and proactive, we can achieve outstanding community wide results. If someone has an idea how to create an online interactive forum that would be super. Please send your suggestions to herkimerpost@gmail.com .

by Linda Kaidan

 

News of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York causes boom in local real estate contracts

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By Linda Kaidan

World’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York has an instant effect on our economy

Marcy is located near Utica, in Oneida County New York, just west of Herkimer. It is the future northern US site for Cree Inc, which will manufacture silicon carbide wafers used in electric vehicles and 5G technology. Close upon Cree’s announcement of their new facility in Marcy, in a matter of days the region experienced a boom in real estate contracts.

I was alerted to this when I noticed my Google maps photo views suddenly rise by 60,000 in a single day to over 600,000. As a Google Guide who focuses on Central New York, I was astounded by this dramatic increase and wanted to understand why. Guessing it was related to this momentous commitment to Mohawk Valley industrial development, I investigated the real estate statistics. I used realtor.com’s listings for Oneida County, which will be home to this world class manufacturing facility, and those of surrounding counties.  Using realtor.com’s filter tool, I compared total listings with listings not under contract.

Strong percent of real estates listings under contract of 25% to over 40%

Onondaga and Oneida counties, home respectively to Syracuse and Utica, have the highest volume of real estate contracts (see red counties on map), with over 45% of all listings under contract. Surrounding counties of Madison, Oswego, Herkimer, Cortland and Lewis (yellow counties), have 25% to 40% of their listings under contract.

The risk of coastal living diminishes when new jobs and homes are created in Central NY.

We can look forward to high quality jobs and an abundance of opportunities for contractors as a result of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York. Creating jobs and incentives to live in central NY is a healthy way to counter the risks of coastal living.

Center for Disease Control reports near epidemic levels of Flu and Pneumonia Nationwide

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Source CDC.gov

The last week in August 2019, Pneumonia and Flu (Influenza) came within 1% of epidemic levels.

 The National Center for Health Statistics reported deaths from Pneumonia and Influenza to be 4.7% of the total deaths during that week. The CDC recommends annual vaccinations for everyone age 6 months and over.

INFLUENZA Virus Isolated

That late August week 2019 (Week 35), our friend died when she went to the hospital for a lung cancer biopsy. She died of pneumonia while there. It’s also about the time when everyone in our home also came down with Flu and now in week 3 of flu and week 38 of flu season, we are finally getting better.

If you have symptoms don’t ignore them

The CDC recommends that you do your best to stop the spread of disease by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands frequently. Also try to avoid other people while you have symptoms. If you have a fever it should not last more than 1 day. My fever lasted 2 days but was only 2 degrees above normal.  

Read more about precautions you should take on the CDC Prevention Webpage.

By Linda Kaidan

 

Abaco cautions coastal cities: NY beware!

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Tiny Abaco cautions coastal cities to prepare.

by Linda Kaidan

Abaco Island’s sudden devastation leaving 70,000 homeless and death tolls yet to be tallied calls us to wake up and prepare for such climate disasters. Coastal cities worldwide must anticipate catastrophic flooding and relocate to higher elevations. Enterprise investment in geographically independent operating structures and remote workers can support efficient continuity in a time of turbulence and uncertainty.

New York City’s metropolitan area is home to 13 million people and at least 50% of the State’s total population. Should Abaco-like devastation hit the city, economic disaster and unthinkable loss of life will ensue.  It’s time for us to demand decentralized jobs and habitation. We have been gravely warned and encouraged to take lifesaving action.  

New York’s economy is both a national and international asset that fosters global stability.

New York State ranks 3rd in the US and has a GDP comparable to that of France, Canada and Australia. We can protect our precious assets both human and economic and help secure civilization by following tried and true methods of decentralization employed by many of the most successful corporations in the world (like Amazon).

Find flexible solutions to dynamic problems.

Abaco cautions coastal cities to be prepared.

One of the most difficult adjustments that must be made is handling vessel docking when coastline is constantly changing. Hopefully someone is already in the process of creating a generic and dynamic docking solution that can be used in ports worldwide.

Expect the unexpected and prepare!

When we act proactively our chances of overcoming climate disaster look optimistic. We cannot afford more Abaco situations which are certain to occur and to increase in ferocity until we enact successful countermeasures. Just 2 days ago the same hurricane that destroyed Abaco traveled nearly 1500 miles from the Bahamas northward to Canada striking Nova Scotia. We must expect to see extremes and take necessary action! Abaco cautions coastal cities to expect intensely destructive weather and to be prepared. Dramatic climate events compel community action. 

Why Escape to New York State?

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by Linda Kaidan
Herkimer Property Values Rising
Herkimer County Rising Property Values

New York is the only state with free undergraduate tuition

With ocean levels rising faster than ever and insurers reluctant to cover coastal properties without high cost premiums, non-coastal New York State looks better than ever as a place to find employment, start a company or to retire. For parents of college aged students and students themselves the State of New York offers a very special resource: Free college tuition in its SUNY and CUNY university systems.

New York State offers greater climate change security  – escape to New York State

Much of New York City and the area around it are close to sea level; subject to increasing coastal storms and flooding, like hurricane Sandy, which cost New York State $41.9 billion. Fortunately, New York’s average elevation is 1,000 feet. We also border Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, two of the five Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water resources.

New York 2015 GDP on par with Canada

New York is a progressive state with abundant social benefits. This is especially important in a time when our federal government is busy defunding seemingly every social service we have. New York is economically stable and extremely prosperous – more so than most countries in the world. New York’s 2016 GDP was $1,488.0 billion, ranking 3rd in the United States. Its world rank in 2015 was on par with the national rank of Canada. In 2015, New York State’s per capita GDP was the highest in the nation, with the exception of oil rich Alaska.

New York’s vast forests largest in US

New York’s state capital, Albany, is currently building a robust infrastructure to support a booming economy and growing population. Available health services are widely accessible and the quality of health care is very high. North of both Albany and our central Mohawk Valley are the Adirondack Mountains, home to the largest contiguous forest in the United States. They’re owned, protected and carefully managed by the state of New York, a resource in perpetuity  for the people of New York. New York’s forests won’t be sold off and ravaged, as our president advocates for vast public acreages entrusted to his stewardship.

New York State’s the best place to move for opportunity and security

If you love natural beauty, want free college education, a robust social service safety network, a prosperous economy and climate change security, you’ll find it here in New York State. Our abundant fresh water, rich farmlands and superb transportation networks make New York one of the best places on earth to move to for opportunity, safety and a better life.

Herkimer New York has low per square foot price

Considering escaping to New York State? You can take advantage of good buys throughout Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. Consider Herkimer New York, home to an outstanding two-year SUNY, located on the banks of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, just 1¼ hours to Albany and 22 minutes to Nano Utica.

This scenic spot is a 10 minute walk from our home in Herkimer Village. Most of the walk is down country lanes.

New York Times Encourages Coastal Resident Relocation

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Coastal Resident Relocation
Hard Rock Cafe after Katrina 2005

The New York Times made one of the most significant contributions to protecting mankind this week, when it painted a clear picture of the jeopardy we are now in from climate change. NYT’s earthshaking article, Perils of climate change could swamp coastal real estate, makes it clear how buying and owning property in coastal areas is a risk to both your person and your wallet. For all coastal dwellers like those in Florida, Louisiana, New York, Sidney Australia and the Pacific Islands, now is the time to relocate rather than play a game of Russian Roulette which the ocean will inevitably win.

Florida is a narrow peninsula with a single major highway, I-75 that connects the south to the north. It is easy to imagine a cataclysmic event where vehicles are at a bumper to bumper standstill as a hurricane-driven super wave rolls across the flat landscape destroying everything for miles.

The New York Times has stated clearly that those in low lying coastal areas must relocate. It has issued the first direct call to migrate from unsafe areas most endangered by climate change. If you live in such an area, think about moving inland.   If you are in a safe and sustainable area like Herkimer County, Albany, Rochester or anywhere in Central New York – prepare to receive incoming populations.

By Linda Kaidan

Related readings:

Climate Change Survival

Halt Runaway Global Warming

Tiny new satellites can guarantee that we don’t die from global warming

Surviving Climate Change: Decide to Live by Linda Kaidan