Posted on April 11, 2017
By Gabriel Rom, lohud
The village’s nearly $80 million flood-mitigation plan is one step closer toward completion.
The Army Corps of Engineers approved the plan last week, completing a months-long federal review of the village’s bid to radically reconfigure the flood-prone Mamaroneck and Sheldrake rivers.
“We are closer to actual and significant flood mitigation than ever before,” said Mayor Norman Rosenblum.
The plan, decades in the making and approved by the state Department of State in August, calls for the Sheldrake and Mamaroneck rivers to be widened, deepened and lengthened. Retaining walls are to be built, along with the removal or replacement of at least four bridges in Mamaroneck.
The federal sign-off comes from the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Review Board, a regulatory panel consisting of senior corps officers and other federal staffers. The plan must now receive further approval from various state agencies.
Former Village Manager Richard Slingerland expects the plan to be fully approved by the summer. The village will then seek congressional funding commitments.
“This is a major, major milestone,” Slingerland said.
Should the plan be finalized, 65 percent of the project’s cost would be funded through federal dollars, with the remaining 35 percent coming from the state, Westchester County and the village.
The plan has support from state and federal lawmakers, including state Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.
A joint statement issued by U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, Schumer, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, applauded the approval, but said work remains.
“Clearing this important hurdle was a huge step toward implementing this plan, which should go a long way toward alleviating constant flooding,” the statement said. “We intend to support the congressional authorization for this proposal and will push to see this project through to completion to protect the lives and economic security of the residents of the village of Mamaroneck.”
If private land is deemed essential for the flood-mitigation plan, “eminent domain authority” can be used, according to documents from the Corps of Engineers. If eminent domain proceedings are needed, they would be conducted by the state, county or village.