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The Times
  • Additional engineering work needed for creek project

  • The Herkimer village board will need to amend its contract for engineering services for the Bellinger Brook project, according to village Trustee Katherine Nichols.

    She explained Anthony Carlisto, of Ward Associates, had provided engineering services for the Bellinger Brook and culvert rehabilitation project, but additional engineering work is needed as the result of damage caused by recent flooding.

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  • The Herkimer village board will need to amend its contract for engineering services for the Bellinger Brook project, according to village Trustee Katherine Nichols.
    She explained Anthony Carlisto, of Ward Associates, had provided engineering services for the Bellinger Brook and culvert rehabilitation project, but additional engineering work is needed as the result of damage caused by recent flooding.
    Bellinger Brook runs from Herkimer County Community College to the Mohawk River and over the years flooding has caused erosion and washouts down the length of the creek.
    The state Department of Transportation red-flagged the bridge on Maple Grove Avenue last year, reducing the bridge to one lane of traffic and setting a weight limit that prohibited emergency vehicles from using the bridge. Following the recent flooding, the entrance at German Street had to be closed off entirely.
    The village was awarded a $225,000 grant for the project in December 2012 as one of 725 economic development projects across the state awarded by the regional economic development council. The state Office of Homes and Community Renewal will administer the funds.
    Questions were raised at Monday’s meeting about whether the work would receive assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency funds. Village Clerk Amanda Viscomi said FEMA funds are available to restore public works structures to pre-existing conditions, not for mitigation work.
    Department of Public Works Superintendent Peter Macri said he would check with emergency management officials to clarify what the funds may be used for.
    Last week, Mayor Andrew Cuomo included Bellinger Brook in a list of seven high flood risk streams in Herkimer and Oneida counties. Previously the state Department of Environmental Conservation prevented local communities from removing gravel below six inches above existing water levels. Beyond removing the restriction, Cuomo’s designation deploys DEC stream teams to assist communities in finding ways to become more resilient in the face of climate change and storms. They also will work with all parties to ensure immediate and long-term benefits.
    Appreciation
    The board received a letter of appreciation from Charlie Miller, of Pine Avenue, praising village department heads, especially mentioning Macri, for their handling of questions at during a meeting at the Polish Community Home after the flooding.
    There was also praise during the meeting for the mutual aid system that brought in additional help from Ontario and Orange counties to assist local firefighters with pumping out basements and for the church-related groups that stepped in to help people clean up their homes.

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