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Rye Brook Board Recommends Bowman Dam Project

RYE BROOK, N.Y. - The Rye Brook Planning Board approved a resolution recommending the installation of a sluice gate at the Bowman Avenue Dam at Thursday's meeting.

The vote passed by a vote of 6-1, with only Dan Tartaglia voting against. The site plan application has now been passed on to the Rye Brook Board of Trustees, which will address the issue at a July 24 public hearing.

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.

At Wednesday's Rye City Council meeting council member Catherine Parker was particularly outspoken about the urgency of the site plan's approval.

"It's been in front of Rye Brook for too long," Parker said at the meeting. "This is first and foremost a public safety issue, and we just cannot wait. I just think they aren't looking at the issue of public safety."

Tartaglia said he felt the plan was not comprehensive enough and that the planning board should take a closer look before approving the site plan recommendation.

"I think we need to take a look at this application a little more closely," Tartaglia said. "It's a very poor application, and I'm not in favor of it."

While Tartaglia disapproved, Board Chair Greg Zuckerman took an opposite approach.

"There seems to be little doubt that this project, while we're not quite sure how much downstream flooding will be alleviated, we're pretty sure that it will be alleviated to some extent with no upstream implications and that is a benefit to both villages," Zuckerman said.

If the plan is approved by the Board of Trustees later this month, David Weiss, the "point person" on the project, believes the project will be complete by the start of the 2012 Hurricane season.

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