Rotterdam drainage projects to move forward

Deteriorating roads and drainage problems in three separate Rotterdam neighborhoods could cost the town approximately $2 million in repairs, according to Supervisor Steven Tommasone.

At a Town Board meeting on Wednesday, June 11, the board unanimously agreed to allocate up to $10,000 to hire engineer Brett Steenburgh to prepare documents, specifications and bidding services for improvements to the storm sewer system in the cul-de-sac neighborhood along Bluebird Lane and Horizon Boulevard.

That project, Tommasone said, could cost $250,000, though the supervisor said he is hopeful the town's highway department may be able to do some of the work itself. Tommasone said the town is currently trying to ensure that it has the proper easements in the neighborhood so that it can repair a malfunctioning outflow pipe that leads to a storm pond off Bluebird Lane.

An additional $250,000 will likely be spent to repair pothole-ridden Houlton Avenue between Crane Street and Altamont Avenue. Tommasone said that Houlton Avenue currently presents a safety issue because of its deterioration caused by ground water.

The third, and most costly, project will entail road reconstruction and drainage work in 88-home Masullo Estates. Residents have been lobbying the town for repairs for years.

Earlier this month, Masullo residents overwhelmingly voted against a sewer district extension to the neighborhood.

The town had been waiting on results of the referendum vote to commence with repairs.

The long-awaited Masullo project could cost the town an estimated $1.35 million, and Tommasone said the town would be moving aggressively to provide residents with drainage relief.

"We'll have to borrow some money to get these projects done, but the longer we wait, the more it's going to cost us," said Tommasone, citing the rising costs of construction.

Tommasone also said that work in Masullo Estates and Bluebird Lane and Horizon Boulevard could occur simultaneously in an attempt to reduce the town's costs.

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