Town officials have hired engineers Brinnier & Larios to draft plans for reconstruction of the Mount Marion dam on the Plattekill Creek, damaged during Hurricane Irene.
According to town highway department superintendent Doug Myer, funding for the reconstruction project will come from the state’s Community Rising program, which made $3-million grants available to communities that suffered flood damage during the Sandy, Irene and Lee storms several years ago.
During Irene, debris swept down stream damaged the Mount Marion dam, Myer explained. While the damage at the time seemed minimal and only a small section of the dam was damaged, over the years that small amount of damage has caused part of the dam to collapse, letting water cascade downstream.
Water in the dammed-up section of the creek supplies water to about 200 homes in Mount Marion Park. Even more importantly, it would be the main source of water should there be a fire at the nearby Mount Marion Elementary School.
Saugerties had originally applied for money from FEMA to repair the dam, but that request was turned down. The dam degraded over the last several years to the point where little water was backed up in the creek.
After talking to the people from the state’s Community Rising program last year, Myer was given the go-ahead for the project. Hiring the engineering firm is the first step, with bids for the dam reconstruction expected later this winter. The project could begin in the spring.
Myer felt it should be “a quick, easy project” once the plans were approved and work began.
The final cost for the project will be known when the engineering firm finishes the plans and gives the town an estimate.
Myer said there was no danger to the school or the homes in the neighborhood that would rely on the water in the creek to fight a potential fire.