Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $5,120,000 investment for NY Works projects that will allow for eight flood control system and dam repair projects in the North Country. Projects slated for the Adirondack North Country include the Lower Lows Dam and Upper Lows Dam on the Bog River. Those dams, made of concrete and located in a area classified Primitive, are favored by paddlers on the Bog River, Hitchins Pond, and Lows Lake. The other dams slated for repair are Palmer Lake Dam in North Hudson (popular with anglers); Taylor Pond Dam in the town of Black Brook, southwestern Clinton County (part of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest); Kingdom Road Dam which holds back Lincoln Pond in Elizabethtown; Main Mill Dam in the City of Plattsburgh; and Whiteside Dam. All are considered “Critical Dam Repairs.” The funds will also support a Malone flood control project.
Two notable back country dams gave way late last summer during Hurricane Irene. The Marcy Dam is expected to be rebuilt. DEC has decided that the Duck Hole Dam will not be rebuilt.
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) maintains 106 flood control projects, of which 91 have been rated “minimally acceptable” or “unacceptable” by the Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, DEC owns 577 dams statewide. Of the DEC-owned dams, DEC engineers classify at least 24 dams as “high” and “intermediate” hazard structures, where failure poses serious threat to human life or significant property damage. The New York Works Funds is expected to designate $102 million statewide, leveraging more than $100 million in matching funds, to repair aged and otherwise failing structures. The $102 million will include $18.5 million to repair state-owned dams, $56 million to perform maintenance of flood control facilities such as levees, and $27 million to implement coastal erosion and inlet navigation maintenance projects, plus over $100 million in matching funds.
State Senator Betty Little said, “North Country communities are still recovering from the severe flooding experienced last spring and late summer. Our rivers, streams and lakes are a draw for hundreds of thousands of tourists and sportsmen, but when flooding occurs, they can quickly become a threat to lives and property. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Works program is putting resources into infrastructure badly needing attention and these upgrades will better safeguard our communities from future flood damage.”
According to a press statement issued by the Governor’s office, New York Works is designed to reinvent state economic development with innovative new strategy that will put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. The Task Force is expected to help create tens of thousands of jobs by coordinating comprehensive capital plans, overseeing investment in infrastructure projects, and accelerating hundreds of critical projects across the state.
All NY Works projects will be posted on the web with real-time updates so that New Yorkers can track the progress of projects in their community, the Governor’s statement said.
Illustration showing the results in the event of a breach of Kingdom Dam on Lincoln Pond courtesy Lincoln Pond Association.