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Schenectady holds workshops for flood mitigation project in Stockade

April 02, 2019 10:39 AM

SCHENECTADY – Every spring, people living in the Stockade neighborhood of Schenectady face the threat of flooding from the Mohawk River. The city is hosting a series of workshops this week to develop a long term solution to the flooding.

"You have a historic district that is facing this and wants to do something about it,” said resident and President of the Schenectady Heritage Foundation Gloria Kishton.

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The city received grant money from FEMA for the flood mitigation project. They said since the district is historic, that will add an extra element to the project.

"Really looking at all the factors and potential alternatives that also preserve the character of the district, because that's something that's obviously really important,” said Director of Planning and Development for the City of Schenectady Kristin Diotte.

The first of three workshops on the project was held Monday night. The purpose of the workshops is to inform residents on the project and get their input.

There are two phases to the project. The first, a $1.2 million feasibility and alternative solutions study, which the city said will hopefully be done by June 2020. Then there will be about $7.5 million left for construction on whatever plan designers and residents settle on.

"It may end up being a combination of things,” said Diotte. “We are not taking anything off the table at this point, but we could potentially be looking at elevating buildings, walls, berms, and a levee.

Residents at Monday’s workshop were able to give input on what design aspects matter most to them in their neighborhood. Some say they hope more can be done with the water level in the Mohawk.

“There's definitely a lot of folks who feel like we need to focus on managing the river,” said Carol DeLaMarter, President of the Stockade Neighborhood Association.

It’s not just residents in the neighborhood interested in the project. Dan Trask lives in the Town of Glenville and said his home also floods every year.

“If you spend money to build a wall that's great, but it doesn't fix the problem downstream where you have ice jams and that type of thing,” said Trask. “It needs to be looked at as a whole project.”

There will be another workshop held Wednesday and then a final one on Thursday. They will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady.

To learn more about the project, click here.

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Emily De Vito

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