Rye Mayor Steve Otis provided a flood mitigation update after a handful of Indian Village residents appeared in front of city council as part of an unscheduled agenda on February 13th. Sometimes the most informative part of a city council meeting are the unscheduled issues that come up during "Open Mic" AKA is council parlance "Residents may be heard who have matters to discuss that do not appear on the agenda."
Otis informed Rye citizens (update from city council minutes):
- As of November 9th the City’s application to SEMO (State Emergency Management Office) for the sluice gate at the Bowman Avenue Dam has been submitted. The city expects a final answer in March which would make a summer installation possible. The gate is partially designed and almost ready to be put out to bid so the progress should be quick.
- Maximizing/resizing the upper pond (Bowman Avenue). The next stage is to develop the geological study. The cost will be about $350,000. The city will be submitting a FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant by February 29, 2008 as the next step.
- Dredging is a massive next step. The city is keeping the Army Corps of Engineers in the loop for this massive project.
- Lower Pond – The City is working on alternatives and we expect a full report in early March showing options (for example, increasing gravity). We have also submitted some of these ideas to Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office.
- County Initiatives – The Mayor sits on the Flood Action Committee which meets 2-3 times a month and is moving on many fronts. The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to study seven watersheds including ours. The city has already done the studies so the Corps will use our data as a baseline and the fact that we done the studies puts us at the head of the line (we hope) for big dollars.
- Rye Brook is helping with the Sells report.
- Harrison is concentrating on cooperation with Beaver Swamp Brook.
- On the County level, the goal is to have all communities increase their retention plans.
- Full funding has been received for the Elm Place project. Bids will go out in March and we anticipate a bid award in June. After that we can begin to work on moving utility lines.
- Federal Highway funds have also been received for Central Avenue Bridge, requiring matching funds from the City.
- The Mayor reminded residents that the City of Rye had, just in the last several years, purchased three parcels of land (Rye Nursery, Friends Meeting House, and the Anderson property) to enhance flood mitigation, but said it is not so easy to stop development upstream.