Rafael Elias-Linero, representing the Flood Advisory Committe, effectively dashed the possibility of dredging the Upper Pond at Bowman Avenue Dam in the near future during a report to the Rye City Council Wednesday night.
"Due to the absence of a viable shovel-ready project,” said Elias-Linero. "We [the Flood Advisory Committee] cannot recommend including those works in the upcoming bond."
Those works to which he referred are a proposed $10.6 million project in the proposed 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan
After comparing the findings of flood mitigation documents and studies dating back to 1979, the Flood Advisory Committee has determined results of previous topography studies vastly vary on measures of the holding basin's water volume capacity.
Elias-Linero said additional analysis to determine accurate measures and develop appropriate engineering plans for the project would require postponement of the anticipated start date and might even jeopardize its consideration in an upcoming capital bond proposal. The city, he reported, should gather updated data and reconcile the discrepancy between previous studies.
The Council was not surprised by Elias-Linero's report. Councilwoman Catherine Parker said that one of the causes of the discrepancies may be due to reliance on estimates rather than actual data. Damage to rain gauges that would cost approximately $15,000 to replace had led to speculation in at least some of the studies.
But Parker was not satisfied to see the project derailed indefinitely. "If this is what you need [additional money to conduct the required studies], then we should go into contingency to fund it." Mayor Doug French agreed and said the council was committed to moving forward and would await a report from the City Manager's officein response to the Flood Advisory Committee findings.
With regard to the sluice gate project, which a joint project with the Village of Rye Brook, City Manager Scott Pickup reported the actual gate mechanism is currently in fabrication and the project is on schedule for September construction.