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Scarsdale Residents Question Flood Plan

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Richard Kanowitz was one of the Scarsdale residents wary about the Village Board's decision this week to move ahead with a $3.15 million infrastructure plan that proposes to reduce runoff water from heavy rains by a third.

“If it works, great. Otherwise, it was a waste,” said Richard Kanowitz, who has lived on Seneca Road for a year.  “I still feel it is not an engineering issue. We already have a system in place that needs to be fixed first.”

Kanowitz attended two meetings on the issue this week, the Municipal Services Committee on Wednesday and the trustees on Tuesday. He questioned Rob DeGiorgio, senior associate at consulting engineering firm Dvirka & Bartilucci, about the proposed South Fox Meadow Stormwater Improvement Project and the Sheldrake Watershed program.

Residents packed Village Hall for the more than four-hour meeting and jostled for position the moment committee chairman Trustee Robert Steves opened the presentation to public comment.

Kanowitz, and several of his neighbors, repeatedly asked why village officials did not focus on a more immediate remedy since the project is not scheduled to begin until March 2012 and “substantial completion” not anticipated until December 2012, according to the engineering firm.

“My newly remodeled home is destroyed, and my four-year-old thinks every time it rains, the house will get flooded and the pool filled with fish from the pond,” Kanowitz said.

Others expressed concern that sewage is being deposited on neighboring play fields and parks from the floods and creating a health issue. Village officials repeatedly reassured attendees that the Department of Public Works routinely inspects public areas following weather-related events and had not determined a problem to date.

One long-term Scarsdalian even questioned whether the projects would ensure the area remained aesthetically pleasing following the construction work.

“We are very sensitive to that,” Steves responded.

Among the questioners, and the first in line, was Steves’ wife, Kathy Steves, who in her role as President of the Green Acres Neighborhood Association thanked trustees for their efforts in addressing the ”tough” issue while also demanding details on culvert size, required maintenance and cost of ongoing maintenance for them.

Did you review the proposed plan at the meeting or on the Village website? Share your thoughts below.

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