The Telegram
  • Mohawk board OKs RAN to pay flood bills

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  • The Mohawk village board voted at a meeting Monday to take out revenue anticipation notes for up to $2 million to pay for flood repairs.
    The loan would allow the village to pay its bills from the early summer floods pending reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and village insurance.
    The board plans to take out two RANs of $1 million or less.
    Two residents of Brookside Drive attended Monday's meeting to express concerns about continuing drainage issues on their street.
    Florence Brooks, who said she lives on the lower end of the street, said her house was badly damaged in the June flooding and the street continues to flood when there is a heavy rainfall such as the one Oct. 7 that nearly flooded her house again. She said she had spent thousands of dollars in repairs.
    “I was terrified,” she said of the recent flooding.
    Department of Public Works Superintendent Kevin Wheelock said the street department pulled out a garbage bag that was blocking the storm drain.
    Stan Biasini, who also resides on Brookside Drive, said the catch basins on the street are not capable of handling all of the excess water. The holes are small, he said. He suggested a catch basin with a raised back, such as those set into the curbs in other parts of the village would handle more water.
    Trustee George Cryer said the village would look at drainage issues on Brookside Drive as well as on several other streets in the village, including Henry, Johnson, Marmet and Bushnell streets and state Route 28.
    “We have to update our drainage. We've got to think 10 to 20 years in the future,” he said.
    Cryer reported he had attended a meeting with hydro flow experts from the area to discuss flood mitigation projects and was disturbed to learn the focus for Mohawk was entirely on Fulmer Creek.
    “None of our tributaries were on the map again,” he said, noting the issue had been raised before. “When it comes to Fulmer Creek, they really want to help, but the tributaries seem to be the municipalities' own problem. Warren Road was not even included for discussion.”
    He said unless the tributaries are dealt with, flooding problems would continue.
    “Tory and Spencer Creeks flooded half the village,” said Cryer. “Spencer Creek turned the water down West Main Street. It's a monster.”
    He said the flow of water is “way more than a four-foot culvert can handle there.”
    Cryer said there are also safety concerns about natural gas lines in the Warren Road area that could be damaged by debris. He said the village notified National Grid years ago that they should be moved, but received no response.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said with the work that was done after the flood, he is not too worried about Fulmer Creek flooding as the result of an average rain. A Department of Environmental Conservation official called the June flood a 500-year event, he said. “How often are we going to get them,” he asked.
    The village could seek funding for additional work along the creek, but an engineer estimated the work would cost nearly $1 million and a 75/25 percent matching grant would require the village to pick up a quarter of that amount. The board decided the village could not afford that at this time.
    Mayor James Baron said he would be meeting with state Sen. James Seward and would discuss village concerns about the size of culverts under the state highways.
    The board decided to reject a grant that had been awarded for a canoe and kayak launch in the village because of the workload demand and the expenses that have resulted from the flood.
    In other business:
    • Wheelock reported Central Paving is wrapping up its paving project in the village and the work should be completed late this week.
    • Loose leaf pickup will begin Nov. 1 and continue through the month or until the snow flies, according to Wheelock. He said the village's new leaf box should arrive by then, but if it does not, leaf pickup will go on anyway, using loaders and a dump truck.
    “We compost everything that's clean,” said Wheelock.
    • Codes Officer Paul McKinney reported on several codes issues he had dealt with.
    • The board answered questions regarding a proposed small business the village planning board rejected due to zoning requirements. The applicant can take the matter to the zoning board of appeals to request a waiver.
    • The overnight parking ban goes into effect Nov. 1. No parking will be permitted on village streets between 2 and 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 through April 1.
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