RYE, N.Y. At the city council's first meeting of 2012, the dominant topic of conversation swirled around the city's efforts to increase flood mitigation moving forward. Amidst the city council's unanimous approval was the formation of a Flood Advisory Committee and a report update on the Bowman Avenue Sluice Gate Project.
Council member Suzanna Keith read aloud the approved resolution, which states that the committee will principally be concerned with identifying and researching flood mitigation measures, developing best practices for private homeowners and assisting in the seeking of fund opportunities for flood mitigation.
The committee will consist of no less than seven and no more than nine members, who will be appointed by the city council.
The decision to include a search for funding to the committee's responsibilities came at the behest of Council member Joe Sack.
"We know a lot about what we need to do, we just don't know how to pay for it," Sack said regarding flood mitigation.
Present at the meeting was David Weiss, the "point-person" on the Sluice Gate Project, according to Rye City Manager Scott Pickup.
"It's been a long road, but we are finally taking the final steps," Weiss said.
According to Weiss, the engineering is 100 percent complete and all the necessary environmental permits have been confirmed. The city is currently waiting on both the Village of Rye Brook and Town of Harrison before it can start fielding bids.
Weiss laid out a timetable for the project that pits completion before the start of the 2012 hurricane season. Pickup confirmed that although the project has absorbed some costs, the city is still within the initial budget.
Council member Catherine Parker spoke about the urgency to get the project completed.
"This is a public safety for our residents and the residents of Rye Brook," Parker said to Weiss. "That has to be hammered in every time you speak about this. The momentum has to be built that this has to happen immediately."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.