May 14, 2014 | 1425 views
Rethinking South Valley Stream
Public hears plans for New York Rising money
“Green” infrastructure is the hallmark of the plan to protect residents of South Valley Stream from future storms. Local leaders are eager to get the project started, which would be funded through the New York Rising program.
The final public engagement meeting of the South Valley Stream Community Reconstruction Program planning committee was held last Thursday night at the Forest Road School, where residents of Mill Brook, West Sunbury and North Woodmere learned about plans to improve the area’s resilience.
Over the last eight months, a committee of local residents, along with experts from the state, have sketched out a series of projects designed to minimize flooding and improve communication. James McAllister, a community planner from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, said a process of this magnitude would normally take three years.
South Valley Stream was awarded $3 million in initial funds, and it recently won another $3 million in competitive money for its green infrastructure proposal. The planning committee initially identified $3.8 million worth of priority projects, so the extra money will ensure that all the work gets done.
Marc Tenzer, chairman of the South Valley Stream planning committee, said members will discuss how to use the remaining money. There is another $24 million worth of projects on the committee’s wish list.
The project that received accolades from the state would be the creation of a living shoreline along the west side of the creek that separates the Mill Brook and West Sunbury neighborhoods. There is already public land along the stream, known locally as “the Path” between Mill and Cloverfield roads.
The shoreline would be reconstructed to include natural vegetation and boulders. The land would be built up to absorb water before it flows into backyards and homes. Zavida Mangaru, a member of the planning committee, said this project could go a long way toward protecting the community. “It prevents the soil from eroding,” she said. “That’s what killed us, the erosion that’s been happening over time.”