Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Longtime Fourth Avenue resident hopes school district sees importance of Julianne’s Playground reservoirs to halting flooding

To the editor:

As a longtime Village of Pelham resident and homeowner on Fourth Avenue, I am acutely aware of the impact of flooding and the destructiveness that results from it.

This issue has plagued the village for decades, with multiple plans to mitigate presented over time but never seeing fruition. Now for the first time, a truly comprehensive and workable plan has been proposed by our current mayor and trustees.

In order for this proposed plan to work, the one major caveat is the installation of an underground retention tank and pump station that would need to be installed at the only viable location. That being in and under the paved area of Julianne’s Playground. As noted, the proposed location for the tank would be under the paved area of the park at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street, with the final location of the pump station still to be determined but within the park area.

For those who have concerns that this project would somehow disrespect or degrade the usefulness of Julianne’s Playground, it should be kept in mind that that almost all of the site would be restored to its original condition with the exception of the pump station. Also, additional funds would be made available to the school district from the project to further enhance the playground for all of the Pelham community.

This project should not be seen as an undertaking to address a small group of residents to alleviate their flooding issues but as a village-wide issue that affects areas throughout the village (i.e., this includes Highbrook Avenue and Colonial Elementary School, which have endured flooding in the past).  This issue is a community issue which either directly or indirectly affects all of our residents, and as a community we finally have a means to resolve it. How often do we get the chance to improve the quality of life and betterment of our community than what we have currently before us?

The flood mitigation project is a village-wide endeavor and cannot be done piecemeal. With that said, a vital piece of the overall project is the retention system at Julianne’s Playground, which the Pelham Union Free School District currently owns. This would require an easement by the school district to the Village of Pelham in order for the project to proceed. It is my hope that the school district realizes the importance of this project to our entire community and works with the village on an agreeable resolution for such easement in order for the project to proceed.

Gary Hyer

408 Fourth Ave.

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