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Home Government Speaking French: Rye Mayor's City Council September Update

Speaking French: Rye Mayor’s City Council September Update

The following is a Rye City Council update from Mayor Doug French

From the desk of Mayor Douglas French

September City Council Updates from Mayor Douglas French

Flood Mitigation Plan
The Council held a special meeting on Storm Response and Recovery last week to update, inform and get feedback on storm preparedness, relief and rebuilding. This is a two-step process that is not just about relief after the fact, but about preventative funding and a commitment to mitigate the upstream impact on downstream flash-flooding that requires a series of sluice gates and retention ponds. It also requires effective enforcement on upstream development to detain stormwater – and be held accountable for it — while downstream development and replacement be properly elevated above the 100-year flood elevation levels. Here is the status of the City's flood mitigation plan. While these projects are costly, the total cost does not come close to the amount of past and potential future loss with recurring flooding.

Bowman Avenue Dam Sluice Gate
This project will help regulate water flow downstream. With the passage of the New York State budget in the spring, final agency funding was released and the City moved to an inter-municipal agreement with the Village of Rye Brook which was just approved. The site plan is under review for approval later this month. From there, the City will go out to bid for the mechanical part and related construction with the project. Total cost is about $2M.

Bowman Ave Dam Upper Pond Expansion
The grant to study the expansion of the upper pond which is designed to retain more water upstream is pending federal review from agencies such as the EPA. The City will look to reduce the scope of the study in order to expedite the initial review. The study will determine the feasibility and cost/benefit of expanding the upper pond. The City's initial estimate is about $7M to $10M and would expand capacity of the pond by roughly 30%.

Anderson Hill Road Retention Pond
The Army Corps of Engineers has identified a location on Anderson Hill Road and SUNY Purchase for a retention pond that will require a $3M study, one-third of which will need to be funded by non-federal sources and approximately 30 months of study. This project would be tens of millions and would be coordinated with the Village of Rye Brook, Town/Village of Harrison and the University.

Downstream dredging to allow water to run out to the Long Island Sound
Nothing is planned but has been cited as part of the series of remedies. The City completed a $2M dredging project in Milton Harbor a few years ago that has not had the impact that was hoped for.

Beaver Swamp Brook
In addition to the sound shore coast and Blind Brook, Beaver Swamp Brook is another brook in Rye. The City would like to use the Project Homerun development project in Harrison to incorporate flood mitigation remedies at that site for the surrounding area.

1037 Boston Post Road
The City finds itself in a unique position having paid higher than the appraised value for a building back in 2006, combined with a significant drop in the real estate market, and the inability to continue to lease a building without an intended public purpose as the City will not move forward with an estimated $25M Police Station/Courthouse on the site. As part of its fiduciary responsibility the Council is exploring all options — one of which could have been to extend the current zoning by one building that is already in place in downtown Rye. The Planning Commission as it's charged, advised the Council on all of the potential uses and size parameters that a zoning change authorized only by the Council would allow. Potential projects for future approval and planning review would range from commercial use, office space, residential and combined retail/residential. As such, the School Administration was also notified for enrollment projections. Although no sale or development proposals are currently under review or have come forward, the Council determined that given the recent flooding, increasing school enrollment, traffic and parking impacts, a zoning change of this magnitude should not be considered. Although the standard City procedures for zoning review were followed in terms of obtaining planning comment, public notification and public hearings, this is not a standard situation. As Mayor, given the uniqueness of the circumstances, this requires an enhanced process outside the norm that would allow for broader review and consideration.


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  1. Mayor French has failed to update the public in his newsletter on composting toilets that he is approving on Hen Island. Mayor French is attempting to legalize by non public fiat something he by law cannot do – pressure a community to install sewage systems without first complying with the existing necessary statutory requirements including drafting environmental impact statements and/or engineering reports or studies of any kind. All the while he has publicly stated that “composting systems are an easy fix to the problems on Hen Island.” Take a look at what can and will take place in Rye thanks to Mayor French’s.

    Warning!!! Very graphic!!!

    And just in case you want verification that he is supporting the instlations of Composting toilets on Hen island click below:


  2. Item 18 eigh? Same old game. What time of night was this one? Looks to me like almost no one from the public is in attendance. And of course no public commentary is asked for.

    Even Mr. Pickup doesn’t sound convinced this meets our sanitary laws on the books – thus when pressed he twice demurs stating simply that this is “progress” – and nothing about code compliance or the usual official type stuff he’s so fluent in.

    That in my experience here means “whoops, we’re at it again – we’re turning the city code into a political pretzel to favor our chosen insiders and we going to double dog dare the rest of the Rye taxpayers to sue us over it.”

  3. I wasn’t sure when Jay would get around to posting this. I like my news current.

    Some Dems want investigation in District 7 race
    Posted by: Gerald McKinstry – Posted in Uncategorized on Sep 29, 2011

    Democrats are challenging a Republican elections official and party boss who they say “mysteriously found” votes from an impounded machine days after the actual re-count.

    Now, even though Legislator Judy Myers won the Independence line against Republican challenger Suzanna Keith in District 7, some Democrats want an investigation to determine exactly what happened.

    Republicans say there’s no proof and these accusations are nothing more than an attempt to “muddy the waters.” Even the Democratic Party chair and elections commissioner isn’t supporting the claims.

    All the ballots have been accounted for, they say.

    “Ballots don’t just appear from impounded machines long after they’ve been examined,” said Doug Forand, a spokesman for the Westchester Democratic Committee, in a statement. “There are only a few plausible ways this can happen, none of which are good.

    “And if someone knowingly planted false ballots in a scheme to steal this election, it’s election fraud.” Election Fraud? Read the rest here:http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2011/09/29/some-dems-want-investigation-in-district-7-race/comment-page-1/#comment-104526


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