EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Bronxville Board of Education has announced an informational meeting in an effort to educate the public about the importance of passing a pair of propositions that will be voted on in a special election next month.
After sustaining millions of dollars in damages from flooding in the Midland Valley Drainage Basin near the high school, the Board of Education proposed a flood mitigation plan and subsequent synthetic field replacement at Hayes Field that will be voted on in a special election ballot on Thursday, Jan. 22.
The informational session will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, in the elementary school's multi-purpose room.
Since 2007, the village has endured nearly $30 million in damages during the various “100-year storms” that have plagued the East Coast. As a result, the board has come up with two propositions for voters.
Last year, the village received a Federal Emergecny Management Agency ( FEMA ) grant that will cover 75 percent of the $6.8 million project. Now, Bronxville Board of Education trustees are required to bring it to a public vote for residents to approve the local share of the project, which will total approximately $1.7 million.
The first proposition seeks the authorization to pay for the district’s 12.5 percent share of a $7 FEMA-approved flood mitigation project, while the second involves the installment of synthetic turf at Hayes Field.
According to Paul Pelusio, the engineer who is shaping this project, the plan includes installing a large network of pipes under Hayes Field that would detain floodwater and prevent it from backing up into the school, as it did in 2007, with disastrous results . The proposal also includes a dedicated pipe that would be installed behind Village Hall that would deliver storm water back into the Bronx River.
A storm water pumping station on the Midland Avenue side of the school would also be utilized during and after flooding. Due to construction, Hayes Field would be inaccessible during the spring sports season.
Bronxville Schools Superintendent David Quattrone said that it is important that the public carefully consider both projects, which represent a compromise after a year’s worth of debate .
“These two proposals are inextricably linked. The flood mitigation project digs a hole in the ground, and the field replacement plan fills the hole in a way that protects the physical assets of the district,” he said. “The plan represents a thoughtful compromise among various constituencies and it addresses our field shortage, aesthetics and ongoing need for play space.”
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