Village of Pelham board hears complaints from residents on June 2 storm flooding, sets mitigation study


Pelham Examiner file photo

Streets and homes were flooded during the June 2 storm.

The Village of Pelham Board of Trustees on Tuesday heard complaints from about a dozen residents who suffered flooding during the June 2 storm.

With residents present both virtually and in person, the meeting had representatives from the Fourth to Sixth Avenue area, along with residents from Highbrook Avenue. They came to express their concerns about what they said was a lack of action, saying that moves have been recommended to reduce flooding before, but no concrete action has been taken.  

“We used to have a plan,” said a resident from Fourth Avenue. “We had a plan, we had a survey done, in fact, every line in this village was surveyed. There were cameras also too, both sanitary and storm I think was done, plans were set up to mitigate.”

The plan referred to is a survey done sometime between 2008 to 2013.

According to Mayor Chance Mullen, the bids for the plan came in too high, and vacuum trucks were bought instead to try to alleviate the flooding after it happened. Some residents replied the vacuum trucks were never all that helpful. 

Anthony Oliveri, a project manager with Dolph Rotfeld Engineering, was present at the meeting. He and the Mayor Chance Mullen have worked to put together a timeline for the next few months to do surveys and create plans to solve the problem.

As a result, the village board voted unanimously on a $110,000 agreement with Dolph Rotfeld to complete a village-wide flood mitigation study for “evaluating the feasibility of correcting flooding problems, preliminary cost estimates and sketches to alleviate the flooding conditions in accordance with objectives set by the village.”

In six weeks, Oliveri said, the TV surveys of pipes and the smoke testing will be done “so we could make recommendations for improvements for lining, for repairs, so we’re at that point to start prioritizing and coming up with projects.”  

Mullen said this was necessary to gain the grants needed to solve the issues with the village’s pipes and that a complete timeline is not yet known.

Oliveri later added, “I know you want it done, but it is a 100-year-old problem.” 

Several residents were unhappy with the approach and called for immediate action. They said they have heard promises, but are tired of the recurring damage to their property caused by flooding.  

“All we do is get water,” said another Fourth Avenue resident.  “You had to see Sept. 1. The water was coming through the walls in my garage, the cement bricks, coming through. I had, we all had, five feet of water. I’m here 45 years, and every time it rains, my yard floods because it is full of clay.”

A resident from Highbrook Avenue said, “We pay taxes in this town… I would hate to pick up and leave and deprive you of them, but that is certainly on the table.”