CWC grant assists Shandaken with proposed Town Hall move out of flood plain

MARGARETVILLE, December 9, 2016 – The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) Board of Directors on December 6 approved a grant of $114,000 to the Town of Shandaken to purchase property for the proposed relocation of the town hall and highway garage.

The funds ($105,000 for the land, and $9,000 for associated legal and closing costs) were authorized under the Flood Hazard Mitigation Implementation program which helps move to safer ground ‘critical facilities’ such as firehalls, schools, town halls, or water or wastewater systems which, if impaired, would threaten the health and/or safety of the public.

Part of the Shandaken municipal complex, located on Route 28 in Allaben, was inundated by Esopus Creek floodwaters during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, when water lapped at the entrance to the town hall. The town was forced to use an alternate location to run day-to-day government operations and the command center for post-flood response. The 3.2 acre site has been designated a Special Flood Hazard Area; the highway garage is actually located within the floodway.

The CWC grant will allow Shandaken to reimburse the NYC Department of Environmental Protection for funds it provided the Town several years ago under the New Infrastructure Program (NIP) to purchase a parcel of land east of the hamlet of Phoenicia. That land was eyed as a potential location for a wastewater treatment facility which did not come to fruition. Under terms of the NIP Program contract, the Town must either reimburse the city for the property if it intends to use it for something other than a wastewater facility, or sell it and return the proceeds to the City.

A recently completed Local Flood Analysis (LFA) for the hamlets of Mt. Tremper and Phoenicia recommended relocating the Town Hall and garage to this 4-acre parcel. Under the state-funded New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, the town engaged C. T. Male Associates to conduct a feasibility analysis on the relocation. The analysis will be completed in 2017, and the move, also funded under the NY Rising Program, is anticipated by the end of 2018.

In other business, the CWC Board authorized a Stormwater Retrofit grant of $260,000 to the Delaware County Department of Public Works for the purchase of a vacuum truck to keep culverts and street drains clean.
It also approved reimbursement to Delhi Community Church of the costs of design and construction of stormwater controls required by the City for the addition of a handicapped rest room and ramp; and reimbursement to Windham Ventures of the cost of the design of stormwater best management practices for the parking areas at the Windham Theater and retail complex.

The CWC is a non-profit, Local Development Corporation responsible for several environmental protection, economic development and education programs in the New York City Watershed West of the Hudson River.