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Bethlehem clears $3M grant for sewer work

Town tackles many issues at regular meeting, including storm damage

— “I've been fairly behind on the paving this year,” he said. “It was a fairly hard winter... we had a fairly rainy spring.”

Councilman Mark Jordan was not at the budget meeting, and Councilman Kyle Kotary arrived shortly after the vote was taken.

Storm's cost still uncertain

Department of Public Works Deputy Commissioner Erik Deyoe on Wednesday, Sept. 15, provided to the Bethlehem Town Board an overview of the impacts of Tropical Storm Irene and the flooding that followed. A full damage assessment still hasn't been completed. Deyoe said the town has received an “almost innumerable” number of calls reporting erosion, slope failures and drainage issues alone.

There are miles of sewer pipe that will require inspection by closed circuit television, as some lining of the pipes were washed away by storm water. Sinkholes have been popping up in some areas, indicating damage to underground pipes.

Damage to a diversion dam in the Town of New Scotland and the pipe leading away from it means the town's Vly Reservoir is cut off from about half of its source water. That's not an immediate issue though, since heavy rains still have the reservoir at capacity and the town has several other sources to draw on.

The process of securing emergency assistance from FEMA is underway, though that money will mostly be in the form of reimbursements, not direct aid. The federal government is advancing with plans to support 75 percent of the storm costs, with localities picking up the rest.

Deyoe reported that the state Department of Environmental Conservation is meeting engineers in the field to issue fast-track permits for repair projects.

Meeting on superhamlet set

The Town Board settled on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as the date for public comment to be provided on the scoping document for the Wemple Corners superhamlet project in Glenmont.

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