Coun­cil ad­vances flood-con­trol ef­fort

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­ ArielAtFree­man on Twitter

KINGSTON >> The Com­mon Coun­cil has au­tho­rized the city to bor­row $50,000 to help fund the de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing work nec­es­sary for shore­line im­prove­ments along the Ron­d­out Creek to help min­i­mize flood dam­age in the Down­town area.

The bor­row­ing, ap­proved last week, will be added to $10,000 of in-kind ser­vices pro­vided by the city. The $60,000 will match a New York Depart­ment of State grant the city re­ceived in 2014.

Brenna Robinson, di­rec­tor of the city’s Of­fice of Eco­nomic and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment, told the coun­cil in a let­ter that Kingston had un­suc­cess­fully ap­plied in 2014 for $1 mil­lion in fund­ing for a Wa­ter­front Re­siliency and Shore­line Im­prove­ments project. That fund­ing would have been used for de­sign and con­struc­tion of shore­line im­prove­ments from be­neath the U.S. Route 9W bridge, near the Sloop Clear­wa­ter’s win­ter home port, to just past the Cor­nell Steam­boat build­ing on East Strand, she said. Robinson said that while the city’s fund­ing re­quest was not ap­proved, it was given a match­ing grant of $60,000 for the de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing of the project.

In 2015, then-Mayor Shayne Gallo was au­tho­rized by the coun­cil to spend the grant money, with the city’s match com­ing from pri­vate fund­ing or ad­di­tional grants. Robinson said, though, that the re­quired $50,000 match to the grant was never set up. That’s why the coun­cil was asked now to bor­row $50,000, she said.

Robinson said a re­quest for pro­pos­als has been is­sued and that de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tants might be se­lected soon. She said no con­tract would be ex­e­cuted un­til the fund­ing for the match was in place.

Me­gan Weiss-Rowe, the city’s di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, said the re­quest for pro­pos­als asks con­sul­tants and engi­neers to iden­tify cre­ative meth­ods of ad­dress­ing fre­quently ex­ces­sive, and some­times ex­treme, flood­ing caused by stormwa­ter and storm surges along the Ron­d­out Creek. The pro­pos­als should take into con­sid­er­a­tion con­cep­tual de­sign work al­ready com­pleted for the area, along with a larger project that is an­tic­i­pated to be de­signed and con­structed with fu­ture fund­ing, she said.

“The city has ap­plied through the 2016 NYS (New York state) Con­sol­i­dated Fund­ing Ap­pli­ca­tion process for this ad­di­tional de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion funds and will con­tinue to do so through the next years’ fund­ing rounds while also seek­ing other op­por­tu­ni­ties to com­plete this over­all project,” Weiss-Rowe said in an email. “The ul­ti­mate plan is to have a walk­way/prom­e­nade along the shore of the Ron­d­out Creek with pub­lic ac­cess from East Strand and con­nect­ing rail trails from above the Trolley Mu­seum to East Strand, out to the Kingston Point and to the light­house, where plans will in­clude elec­tric, wa­ter and sewer ser­vice to al­low it to be­come the des­ti­na­tion it should be.”

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