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Joshua Thomas
Lisa Nagle, of Elan Planning and Design and part of the New York Rising Project Team, addresses attendees during Wednesday's meeting.

Joshua Thomas
Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton, Volunteer Organizer Cyndi Tracy (front, left), and residents listen to flood recovery project options during Wednesday's meeting. 

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Government-funded flood recovery projects identified and prioritized

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Updated: 9:33 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- On Wednesday evening, a meeting was held at the Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School aimed at identifying and prioritizing flood recovery projects in Fort Plain and Minden as part of a two-pronged, government-funded plan to re-build communities and develop long-term resiliency strategies.

"The goal of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program is to focus on the future," said Lisa Nagle, of Elan Planning and Design, explaining that Governor Andrew Cuomo has allocated three million dollars to address immediate recovery needs in Montgomery County.

A preliminary list of projects has been compiled by a multidisciplinary planning and engineering team appointed by the state, with input from Minden Highway Superintendent Scott Crewell and and Fort Plain DPW Superintendent George Capece.

The list of potential recovery projects was presented Wednesday to an audience including Fort Plain and Minden residents, Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton, Fort Plain Village Trustee Loring Dutcher, Minden Supervisor Cheryl Reese, Minden Councilmember Thomas Yager, Volunteer Organizer Cyndi Tracy, and Friends of Fort Plain members. Attendees were asked to prioritize the list based on need, creating a tentative list to submit to New York State officials for review and consideration by March 31.

The list will then be refined, finalized, and re-submitted for funding approval by July 31.

Projects on the preliminary list included the replacement of 1,000 linear feet of Spring St. guide rail, 4,000 linear feet of Otsquago Creek debris removal, Otsquago Creek channel restoration between River St. and Reid St., a Kellogg St. bridge (a problem, choke point along the creek) project feasibility study, Otsquago Creek bank stabilization, Clinton Ave. slope stabilization, housing rehabilitation, demolition of ten Reid St. and Abbott St. properties, the replacement of 1,400 linear feet of underground Willett St. storm sewer, Honey Hill Road outfall channel restoration, a feasibility study to determine if a roadway should be constructed to provide access to an H. Moyer Road property, Minden Town Office/barn drainage improvements, and the expansion of the Minden Town barn's second floor to create records storage space.

While many agreed early on that the projects were all high priority, a Minden resident said that that the source of the problem -- the Otsquago Creek -- should be addressed first, questioning whether water control measures are being considered.

Nagle explained that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is currently working with an engineer to identify potential flood mitigation areas along the creek. The results of that study are expected within two weeks, and Nagle said of the projects on the tentative list outlined Wednesday, "Many of these projects will coincide with that," or they could change, or be removed from the list, if encompassed in the DEC study.

Nagle said that after money is allocated following the submission of the refined list July 31, the second phase will begin, wherein resiliency projects aimed at long-term reinforcement and strengthening measures will be identified. Additional money will likely be allocated to fund the resiliency phase.

Wednesday's meeting was just the first of numerous meetings that Nagle said would take place locally throughout the recovery and reinforcement process.

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