Bonacic Secures $1.2 Million To Help Mitigate Flooding In Sidney

John J. Bonacic

May 22, 2008

The first phase of a multi-year plan to mitigate flooding in Sidney has received a $1.2 million grant through the efforts of State Senator John Bonacic. The funding received formal approval by a Senate resolution last week and will be managed by the Delaware County Department of Economic Development.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Village of Sidney Engineer John Woodyshek has designed a three-phase plan to protect downtown Sidney from flooding. The first phase would protect Union Street, Steiner Road, Sherman Avenue, and Adams Street, along with the Amphenol Corporation from flooding. The protection would consist of a system of walls between four and ten feet in length along Delaware Avenue, dikes, and a pumping station to stop waters from Weir Creek and other waterways from flooding the area.

The total cost of phase one is estimated to be $2.2 million. In addition to the $1.2 million secured by Senator Bonacic, United States Senators Schumer and Clinton combined to secure $286,000. Despite being flooded by a massive storm in 2006, Amphenol, one of the largest employers in upstate New York agreed to stay in Sidney. However, if another flood came, there was no promise that Amphenol would again re-build in Sidney.

“Protecting homes and businesses from the effects of flooding is something our government needs to be more actively involved with. This $1.2 million must be the start of an ongoing process to protect flood-prone communities,” Senator Bonacic said. Last year, the Senate passed legislation (S.5514) sponsored by Senator Bonacic which would direct the State Emergency Management Office and DEC, in cooperation with local soil and water conservation districts, to immediately implement flood control mitigation plans.

Each phase of the Village’s flood control plan builds off the next. The second and third phases would protect the remainder of the Village where flooding occurred in 2006. The phases can be independently implemented.

“My first introduction to Sidney was in the summer of 2006, where I met many families and business owners struggling to recover from the devastating floods,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez. “From that personal, emotional experience, flood control and flood prevention has become one of my top priorities. Today, I am pleased to join with Senator Bonacic and the people of Sidney, as we take this important step to protect the community.”

Assemblyman Cliff Crouch said, “Protecting our communities from flooding is critically important. Sidney should be commended for being proactive in developing plans to mitigate future flooding. The funding announced today is an impressive start in making that plan a reality. It is my hope that our Federal officials will now come to the table as we work to protect the entire region from flooding.”

Glenn Nealis, Delaware County Economic Developer, requested the funding. “Amphenol took a chance investing again in Delaware County after being flooded so badly in 2006. We need to go to bat to protect our existing companies from the dangers of flooding. Senator Bonacic understands that and we appreciate his securing this funding. To lose a corporation which employs between 1,200 and 1,700 workers, at any given time, would be devastating to the economy of the tri-town region and all of Delaware County.”

Sidney Village Engineer John Woodyshek said “Sidney is working to prevent future flooding disasters. We have conceived a common sense plan which will protect our Village and the areas flooded in 2006. The funding being announced today provides us with a substantial start to this multi-phase effort and we look forward to working with the County and State to implement greater flood control measures.”

“Our State has an over $120 billion budget. We should be preventing disasters instead of spending more each year to clean up after them. The $1.2 million we are investing today can, when coupled with additional Federal and local resources, prevent future disasters,” concluded Senator Bonacic.