Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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Dan Hust | Democrat

CONGRESSMAN MAURICE HINCHEY, right, speaks about a new flood mitigation study being undertaken in and around Livingston Manor. He was joined in Manor’s Renaissance Park on Tuesday by, from the left, Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Tom Tickner, Project Manager Dan Caprioli, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Region 3 Director Willie Janeway.

Famed streams focus of mitigation study

By Dan Hust
LIVINGSTON MANOR — With a flood mitigation study already under way along the Callicoon Creek, Congressman Maurice Hinchey announced Tuesday that another one will soon begin along the Willowemoc and Little Beaverkill.
“It’s deeply appreciated,” Rockland Town Supervisor Stan Martin told Hinchey at Tuesday’s press conference in Livingston Manor, where the two famous trout streams converge.
“Hopefully at the end of this study,” Martin added, “we can find some solutions to end our flooding problem.”
It’s a problem that has cost lives and millions in property damage, even spurring former Town Supervisor Pat Pomeroy to take courses on it. She was thanked by several of the speakers for her efforts to gain this flood study.
As always, it came down to funding, and Hinchey used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to wrangle nearly $800,000 from Congress for the Callicoon and Willowemoc studies.
Even then, new federal rules required a percentage of that funding be matched by a local sponsor, which in late May became the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). That agreement enabled this new study to finally begin, four years after the first devastating flood hit the township.
“It took a lot of work to get to this point,” said Hinchey, “and I appreciate the efforts of the partners in this effort.”
Due to the sensitive and world-famous nature of the 100-square-mile Willowemoc and Little Beaverkill watershed, those partners include the Army Corps of Engineers, Open Space Institute, Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited.
The Callicoon Creek study is expected to be finished next year, while the Willowemoc version is just beginning.
Both will focus not just on mitigating flooding but restoring the natural environment in “the most economical and technically feasible” way, explained Project Manager Dan Caprioli, who’s working with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Indeed, once recommendations are created, Hinchey and crew will have to find sources of funding to implement those recommendations, so there’s plenty of work left.
“We’re going to do the best we can to find a solution quickly before there is another flooding event,” Caprioli promised.
“It truly was devastating,” remarked Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, “and anything we can do to not make that happen again, as your representatives, we’ll do.”

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