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Creek Project Faces a Variety of Delays, Progress

Written By Editor on 9/16/16 | 9/16/16

By Tyler James

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors heard an update on the continuing delays over the post-flood creek mitigation project.

Jim Bridges, representative from McLaren Engineering gave an update on the county's creek project. Much of the discussion revolved around the upper site project close out at Dave Brown Mountain. The group has the final $162,000 funding request from NRCS. He said that this money should be available to the county in the next one or two weeks. There is another $127,000 reimbursement pending from New York State pending completion of the entire project. There would be no penalties from the state if the work completed by the County is not maintained by it.

The lower site is slated for completion soon. The "remediation work was done in July. Completed in August." This included a $362,000 project completion request from the contractor, who should be paid next week. Two change orders slightly modified the project due to different site conditions and to meet regulatory approval. These tally to about $30,000 in costs. There are other reimbursements that are upcoming. In total, this includes about $700,000 in reimbursements pending for the lower site, expected over the next several months.

Another site discussed was Plattekill. The representative stated that there has been work in the last month to move from approval from NRCS for action to a set of plans. There is hope that these changes could save approximately $100,000 in savings for that portion of the process. This process was ongoing and was expecting more comments from the organization in about a week.

The engineering firm is finalizing plans for how the stream cleanup on site will occur in cooperation with Rifenburg construction. "It's very difficult for them to give us a price." There's a cap of $350,000 for such consulting with the expectation that the total should be lower. Approval from DEC could further lower the cost. The representative stated that there was regulatory concern about some work done in 2015 with hope that it can be resolved without cost.

"There is slightly more than $2.2 million in reimbursement available," for the remainder of the project.

Of the projects, the Little Schoharie was described as the "most complicated," in the presentation. Work was described in four sections, denoted by letters. Ridge D, worked during winter 2014-2015 was suspended due to the harshness of the season and then damaged in water runoff in spring 2015. This portion is now completed. Two of the other sections were damaged due to recent water flow in Huntersland. Ridge A has been stalled due to funding issues and due to summer storms. AECOM is currently in "delicate negotiations" to resolve who is responsible for funding.

The final site discussed was Line Creek. This included NRCS concern about the current hydraulic model. New modeling has been done in the last several months and "has taken longer than we wanted." The model is currently undergoing hydraulic calculations. If these are not satisfactory there could be another period of planning required.

All permits are required for reimbursement. "In many cases we don't have the permits in place," for reimbursement. The entire project of reimbursement through different agencies should take significant time.

The last part of the presentation was about the AECOM contract. Supervisor Chris Tague of Schoharie made a motion to enter into executive session. The board unanimously approved the measure, which lasted for about an hour.
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