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Flood Mitigation on the Horizon in Bronxville

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – It looks like there just might be a silver lining to those flood clouds plaguing Bronxville. Federal funding is on the way for a flood mitigation project, village officials said.

"We have been told that phase one of our proposal has been recommended for approval," said Village Administrator Harold Porr. “I think it is safe to say we are expecting to hear within the next several weeks.”

Porr said after a 2007 nor'easter flooded Bronxville Schools and surrounding neighborhoods, school officials came to the village and asked for help.

“We hired an engineer who started to put together a plan for flood mitigation and we started to explore what grant opportunities were out there,” Porr said.

The net result of the study is a 120-page document with a specific plan to end flooding in the low-lying side of town, submitted to FEMA in December 2010.

FEMA completed a review and notified the village it would be eligible for a grant in June 2011, just two months before Tropical Storm Irene hit the area and put the low-lying first floor of the school back under water.

Now Porr said that the first phase of the project that will outline the planning and design will get underway as soon as the funds have been received.

Each step – design, planning and construction – will require separate approvals before final authorization is granted, Porr said. The project plans include a storage system comprised of underground tanks with flexible pipes that will capture and store heavy rain to prevent flooding. The tanks are slated to be located on school property between the existing parking lot and athletic field. Porr said that construction costs alone are predicted to be $6.2 million with a grant estimated to cover 75 percent of the costs. The village is hoping to split the remaining costs with the school district.

Porr said there is still a long way to go before any changes take place and that the design may need modifications before final approval is granted.

"The project is going to be in the works for a good period of time, but at least it is in motion and in a positive motion," Porr said.

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