A section of East German Street Extension remains closed to traffic and village and town of Herkimer officials plan to meet to discuss how to resolve the problem.
Village Water and Sewer Superintendent Scott Blais said during Monday’s village board meeting the village supplies water to residents in that area of the town and his crews have made repairs several times to the main, but the road has been sinking, damaging the water line.
“We fixed it on a Friday and the next day we fixed it again,” said Blais. A week later, his department was notified that repairs were needed yet again.
Village Trustee Anthony Brindisi commented that water had undermined the road as a result of the flooding. “It’s settled,” he said.
Blais said the town is aware of the problem.
“They want us to fix the main,” he said.
He maintains that until the road is repaired, any repairs to the water main would be temporary. Blais said town officials had questioned whether the problems with the village water main were undermining the road, but he had the line pressure tested and had a chorine sample taken to make sure this was not the case.
“Do you have this in writing,” asked village Trustee Katherine Nichols.
Blais said he did. He added that if the problem is not resolved soon, “we’re going to lose the whole road. They need to stabilize the road so we can stabilize the main.” Otherwise, he said, water service could be interrupted to more customers, such as those in the Petrie Development. “We’d have no way to get them water, even with garden hoses,” said Blais.
He said he had talked with the state Department of Health about the issue and officials there agreed he had acted properly.
Mayor Mark Ainsworth said town Supervisor Dominic Frank has asked to meet with the village board to discuss the matter and work out a solution.
Several residents of the Bellinger Street area attended the meeting to ask when the drainage problem on their street would be resolved.
Elaine Luppino, of 303 N. Bellinger St., said by the time the heavy rain a couple of weeks ago stopped, the water was coming up onto her driveway.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Peter Macri said there is a blockage in a portion of the hydraulic canal that is on private property that will have to be dealt with. He said the property owner is willing to have the village clear the debris, but he will have to talk with representatives of the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers before he can move ahead with the project. When the state took action to increase the flow of water through the system after the flood, he said, village crews thought the improved flow would solve the problem, but that did not turn out to be the case.
Page 2 of 2 - “A portion of the hydraulic canal has debris in there and water is backing up in two directions,” said Macri.
Ainsworth assured residents that the village board and village employees are concerned about the problem.
“We’re right on a time bomb,” said Luppino. “This could take so long. What’ll we all do if it floods again? We can’t just pick up and leave.”
“We’re committed to get it fixed,” said Ainsworth, but added it might be spring before the work can get under way.
Engineer Anthony Carlisto, of Ward Associates, reviewed the progress on the Bellinger Brook and Maple Grove Avenue project. He said the contractors are waiting for pre-cast sections to arrive before they can move ahead with the replacement of the bridge. The riprap project along the creek bank is going well, he said.
Carlisto said he is gathering maps of the stormwater drainage system in the village and will relay that information onto one large map. He described the system as “quite irregular.” He said he would be meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss a plan for mitigation.
The board awarded the contract for removing debris from Brookwood Park to T.J. Allen Trucking, which submitted a low bid of $86,240 and the contract for repairs to the sluiceway in the upper part of the park to Jablonski Excavating, which submitted a low bid of $125,769. Five bids were submitted for the latter project, Carlisto said.