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Rye Brook Board Approves Resolution on Bowman Dam

RYE BROOK, N.Y. - The Rye Brook Board of Trustees passed a resolution approving a site plan application for the implementation of a sluice gate inside the Bowman Avenue dam.

The resolution was approved by a vote of -0. Trustee Rosenberg was absent from the meeting. The Board passed the resolution after it was recommended by the village's Planning Board last Thursday.

A sluice gate is an automated mechanism within the dam that controls water flow. The concept of adding the sluice gate is way to more efficiently manage the water flow within the dam. However, according to David Weiss, the WPS Sells project manager, the new sluice gate will not completely eliminate downstream flooding.

"The project involves the replacement of the fix timber gate with a fully automated sluice gate," Weiss said. "While it doesn't completely eliminate downstream flooding it does benefit while allowing for other dynamic solutions that could work with on-site initiatives."

The area downstream that the gate will mitigate begins at I-287 and runs down I-95.

Since the Bowman Avenue Dam is also part of both the Town of Harrison and the City of Rye, the three villages have entered into an Inter Municipal Agreement that deals primarily with operation of the sluice gate.

Due to grants from both New York State and Westchester County, the village will only have to pay $136,000 of the $2.2 million project cost.

Before the resolution was passed, the trustees opened and closed a spirited public forum spurred by Kip Konigsberg of K&M Realty. Konigsberg owns the adjacent property to the dam and was concerned that the site plan application did not factor in the potential impacts on his property.

"The study did not give you the ability to determine the impacts on my property, which you plan to develop," Konigsberg said.

Rye Brook resident Dean Stanton spoke in support of Konigsberg.

"I'm all in favor of flood mitigation but if you don’t look at data with the most immediate property in mind than this project should not move forward," Stanton said.

Weiss attempted to quell the two men's concerns by stating that the survey did factor in Konigsberg's property and that the installation of the sluice gate would have no adverse effects on any adjacent properties. Weiss provided data to the board to support his claims.

According to Weiss, the eight to 12 week building process could begin as early as June, with bid applications going out in late April.

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