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Canajoharie, NY ,

Village Board details flood related projects

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Updated: 10:38 PM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- Mayor Guy Barton stated during Tuesday night's village board meeting that the Route 80 bridge, crossing the Mohawk River and connecting Fort Plain to Nelliston, will open a few days sooner than planned. While the bridge was originally scheduled to re-open the first week of September, the bridge will now likely open either Aug. 28 or 29.

"It's a week earlier than they planned on, and they may even open a few days earlier," commented Barton, explaining that good weather has allowed the work to develop at a faster rate than previously expected.

The project is being funded by the New York State Department of Transportation, and as part of the project, the bridge's deteriorating, salt-corroded gusset plates are being replaced. Work on the structure has been taking place six days a week for up to ten hours each day.

Mayor Barton also said that work began on the washed out bike path bridge on Tuesday afternoon. A crew started clearing trees Tuesday, the goal being to fully install a new structure -- utilizing a $50,000 New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Restoration grant the village received -- by late fall, most likely October.

The bridge, said Barton, will be open for snowmobiles to cross this winter.

A resident informed the board that the Otsquago Creek, cleared of debris and widened, with walls being built up following the 2013 flood, appears to be filling in again. Barton said the board has talked to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation about entering the creek to continue work, though further remediation has not been approved.

"Right now, you put a bulldozer in there and they fine us," which ends up costing the taxpayers money, said Trustee Michael Calbet, continuing, "It took an act of a federal agency to override the state during the last flood."

Trustee Rodney Strait noted that Otsquago Creek work is addressed in the New York Rising program, under which the village is eligible for up to three million dollars for flood-related repair and future prevention projects.

The county has submitted New York Rising plans to the state, which involves a as-yet-undetailed description of work in the creek between the village of Fort Plain and the town of Minden, valued at about $200,000, though the village has not yet heard whether they will be awarded the New York Rising funding.

Mayor Barton also said that work has begun in Family Dollar, with up to 20 recently-hired employees from the local community entering the facility Tuesday to begin stocking the newly-refurbished store.

Barton said the store will hold a small, official opening next week, with a grand opening to follow soon after, potentially the following week.


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