Press-Republican

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July 7, 2013

Grover Hills will rise again

MORIAH — The 150-home Grover Hills subdivision will soon have its 1940s-era concrete streets replaced with asphalt.

The roads have to get a new base first because the concrete is crumbling, and asphalt patching done over the years didn’t really bond with the concrete.

Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said that when Grover Hills was built in 1942 it was the most densely packed living space in the Adirondack Park.

“The roads in Grover Hills are in terrible shape. We have to do something about them. People were having trouble driving there.”

The Moriah Town Highway Department has been removing the concrete on Federal Street and Champlain Drive in Grover Hills and will bring in material to create a new base before paving with blacktop.

BUILT FOR MINE WORKERS

The company that operated Moriah’s iron mines, Republic Steel, had lucrative government contracts in the 1940s and needed more housing for its workers, so a federal housing project was instituted.

The federal government created an entirely new community of simple wood-frame bungalows in Moriah’s Mineville hamlet, called it Grover Hills, and rented houses to workers for around $10 a month.

The mines closed for good in 1972, and the homes are all in private hands now.

CLOSE QUARTERS

Houses were constructed much closer together in Grover Hills than other subdivisions, which also led to a problem in 2009 when outdoor wood furnaces were installed by some residents of the compact subdivision, filling the adjacent properties with wood smoke.

The town passed an ordinance regulating outdoor wood stoves after many Grover Hills residents complained about those neighbors’ stoves. The stoves must now be 50 feet from a property line and at least 100 feet from any residence not served by a stove.

Scozzafava said the problem in Grover Hills now is that the concrete roads cracked over the years, water seeped into the cracks and froze, and everything fell apart.

The town replaced the water and sewer lines, sidewalks and storm drains in Grover Hills about five years ago but didn’t include road reconstruction, Scozzafava said.

“We should have worked on this before, but we didn’t have the money,” he said. “Now it’s getting the attention it deserves.”

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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