CWC funds flood mitigation projects

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MARGARETVILLE, NY, May 10, 2017 The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) Board of Directors voted May 2 to fund two initiatives under the Flood Mitigation Implementation Program. 

The Board approved a grant of up to $900,000 to Ulster County remove the long-closed Mt. Pleasant Bridge, an action recommended by the completed local flood analysis for the hamlet of Mt. Tremper in the Town of Shandaken. 

The Mt. Pleasant Bridge over the Esopus Creek has been closed for several decades. Its removal is recommended to allow construction of flood plain benches that would lower flood elevations and lessen inundation in nearby buildings. In addition, removal of the bridge will keep it from coming unmoored in the next flood and potentially damaging a State-owned bridge just downstream that carries NYS Route 28 over the Esopus Creek. 

The CWC Board also authorized a two-year contract with Chazen Companies for up to $50,000 to provide engineering and project management for the demolition of structures acquired through the New York City-funded flood buyout program. This voluntary program is intended to assist property owners who were not eligible for or chose not to participate in the FEMA flood buyout program. Structures will be demolished after closing. Municipalities may choose to own and manage the properties after they are purchased and cleared. 

In other business, the Board voted to fund a study to determine the amount of developable land in the West of Hudson Watershed. The move was prompted by concerns that State and City land acquisition programs, deed restrictions on privately-held large parcels, and expanding flood plain designations have significantly reduced the amount of land available for commercial or residential development, thus hindering economic viability in Watershed communities. 

The CWC funds, disbursed under the Catskill Studies Program, will pay county agencies, or consultants, to analyze acreage and maps for steep slopes, stream and wetland setbacks; unsuitable soils, publicly owned and eased lands, local zoning restrictions and other criteria. 

For more information on the CWC and its programs to protect water quality, and preserve communities in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed, visit