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Home Government Your TV Goes Dark, $1.8 Million of Mud at Boat Basin, Cash...

Your TV Goes Dark, $1.8 Million of Mud at Boat Basin, Cash for Flood Prevention — Rye City Council Minutes from September 3, 2008

DredgingRye city council minutes, penned by City Clerk Dawn Nodarse, have been published for the September 3rd meeting. Here are the highlights. Mayor Otis and all the council members were in attendance.

  • Channels 74, 75 and 76 on Cablevision Will Go Dark. Former Mayor John Carey of 860 Forest Avenue is keeping an eye on the cable operators in Rye. Among a number of things, he warned cable Channels 74, 75 and 76 will go dark for many residents because Cablevision is elevating those channels to a digital tier. He believes this is a very serious legal issue and the Council should take action. The Mayor learned Cablevision is offering people who want to receive only channels 74, 75 and 76 a free digital box.
  • Dredging at the Boat Basin. Boat basin supervisor Peter Fox  and committee members including Dick Dempsey, George DeFilippo, Bob Rispoli, Ken Dahlgren and Bill Blake were in attendance. City Comptroller Mike Genito said that the Boat Basin has been reserving funds over the years for dredging but, unfortunately, dredging has become almost an unaffordable project. Not too many years ago dredging used to cost about $200,000 and is now in the area of $1.8 million. The plan is to move ahead with the dredging project [See additional background below].
  • Bowman Avenue Sluice Gate Design. The council approved $150,000 from contingency to fund the Bowman Avenue sluice gate design. Rye Flood Action Committee member Andy Goodenough of 25 Mohawk Street expressed concern that flood mitigation at Bowman Avenue is listed as a future consideration in the Capital Improvement Plan. Mayor Otis said that projects are listed in the Capital Improvement Plan when an exact price is known and a funding source has been identified. This does not mean this is not a priority project. The design study previously funded should give the city a better idea of what the sluice gate project should cost. Additionally, by the time the budget is adopted in December, the City should have a better idea of what funding should be coming from the County. Assistant City Manager Pickup said the City is in an application process with FEMA for flood mitigation money that will require a 50% match from the city and it is hoped that $125,000 of this $150,000 would be eligible.
  • Beaver Swamp Legal Expenses. Council transfered $65,000 from contingency to the law department for consultant expenses related to Beaver Swamp. City Manager Shew said that these expenses were for two consulting firms being overseen by the corporation counsel in connection with the Beaver Swamp project. Mayor Otis said the City is involved in a dispute with the Town of Harrison over Beaver Swamp Brook and offered a brief overview of the four categories the consultants are involved with: (1) An administrative law process relating to a permit request by Harrison to deposit additional fill in Beaver Swamp; (2) A challenge of the DEC’s sanctification of prior work by Harrison on the original brownfields clean up project; (3) A proposed solution, by a firm hired by the Town of Harrison, that widening the Brook south of Park Avenue will help relieve flooding in the area to the north, and (4) The City has asked a firm to look at all existing conditions to come up with alternatives that Harrison and Rye can agree to, that might mitigate the flooding.

Additional Background on Boat Basin Dredging

An analysis of Boat Basin funds has determined that with their current cash balance as well as what will be available at the end of the year from the revenue and expenditure budgets they should have approximately $1.7 million and the City has been able to negotiate with FEMA to obtain $300,000 in funding, which should cover the cost of the project. Genito introduced Mike Ludwig from Ocean Coastal Consultants, who explained the project. In the 1960’s the City benefited from a federal navigation project in Milton Harbor that included dredging activity into the community boat basin. It is the failure of the federal government to continue maintaining that navigation project that has resulted in the problems that face the harbor today. Half of the dredging that is necessary is located in that federal navigation channel in order to bring it up to a level that provides service access to and from the marina. The 100 foot wide channel is supposed to be maintained at a depth of six feet but in a number of places the channel has been shoaled in, resulting in about one-third of the navigable depth of the channel being lost. Although the Federal Government no longer maintains the federally authorized navigation channel, maintenance dredging should be done approximately every ten years to maintain navigable water depths. The dredging project should be done this Fall. There are four permits required, one from Connecticut DEP, one from New York State DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation), the third, a New York State Department of State Federal Consistency Authorization that is issued to the Army Corps of Engineers, which allows the Army Corps of Engineers to issue the fourth permit. The City has received all four permits, which will allow maintenance dredging for approximately 23,000 cubic yards of dredge material between October 1, 2008 and January 31, 2009 or any calendar period along that line. A clamshell dredge will be used and the material will be placed on barges that will transport the sediment to the Central Long Island Sound disposal site off of New Haven where the material will be placed and capped with clean material that is coming from three projects being done in Connecticut. Ocean Coastal will offer any support the City needs in managing the project. Dredging and ancillary work at the municipal boat basin was awarded to R.B. Conway & Sons, Inc., the lowest bidder meeting specifications, in the amount of $1,845,000.00, subject to completion of due diligence and approval by the City Manager.

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