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McKownville Drainage District gains support

Guilderland eyes levying taxes for stormwater management repairs in hamlet

— Resident Martha Harausz said hamlet property owners have tried to do something about their drainage problems “for decades” and was pleased to see work being done to correct the issue.

“If we had been able to start … 35 years ago when I first moved into the neighborhood, we would probably be a lot further along,” Harausz said. “By forming this district, it will allow the town to go on the alleyways to make some of the repairs … which is always a difficult decision when a town member has to go on private property, all kinds of things can happen.”

Town officials have tired to help residents on an “emergency basis,” according to Runion, but it’s a private drainage system so the town is limited in how much service it can provide. This also didn’t allow the town to monitor the system and catch problems earlier.

“When you do it on an emergency basis, usually somebody ends up with a problem that lasts for a sustained period of time,” Runion said, “whether it’s the likelihood of excessive flooding in their basement or possibility of a basement collapsing or an unsafe condition due to misquotes or other types of stagnant water that exists in backyards.”

Reeb said enthusiasm for the project in McKownville is “overwhelming” since many residents have tried for years to find a solution.

“It is something that people dreamed about for many, many years to see their stormwater problems reduced,” Reeb said.

The McKownville Fire Department typically receives 40 to 60 calls every year for pumping out basements, Reeb said. The amount of calls he has received over the years from neighbors seeking help has been “significant,” he added.

Runion recalled the last drainage incident he could remember, which was a problem in the back alley along Elmwood and Parkwood streets.

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