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Packed Marshall Meeting Addresses Flooding

The meeting room at the Marshall Town Hall was full to overflowing with taxpayers who had questions and concerns for the Marshall Town Council at their regular meeting in November.

Frustration was evident in every guest’s comments, and the meeting needed to be called to order two times.

The meeting opened with representatives from the Department of Transportation who discussed Stage II of the project intended to mitigate flooding along Route 12B. Joel A. Bailey, Design Team Leader, described the proposed project, which will replace two existing culverts with new ones: one near Walt’s Body Shop and one by the Deansboro Firehouse.

The DOT said they believe the culverts will be enlarged in both cases, with the culvert near Walt’s going from a 36” diameter concrete pipe to a new precast box culvert having a width of 12 feet and height of 4 feet.

The culvert by the Firehouse is now 42” to 48” of corrugated metal pipe and will be replaced by a precast concrete box culvert with a width of 7.6 feet and a height of 4 feet.

Both projects require a portion of the highway to be reconstructed and repaved, around 300 feet near Walt’s Body Shop and 350 feet near the firehouse. Bailey described potential detours, or installing a temporary traffic light at the work zone to maintain an alternate single lane of traffic.

The DOT estimates it will take about six weeks per site to complete each culvert, if utilizing a traffic signal, or two weeks if using a detour. They wanted input from people regarding the choices.

The detour would be on state highways, because the DOT does not want to put trucks on local roads “if we can help it,” Steven Emrich, Regional Structures Engineer for the DOT, said. The DOT will take the public’s input into consideration before they make their final decision.

Cost for the culverts is $1.258 million if it’s staged with traffic lights, or just under $1 million if detours are used. Construction will begin in the spring of 2021; the entire project is estimated to cost approximately $2 million.

Chris Steinmann spoke on behalf of the fire department. He said Deansboro had an agreement with other fire departments to provide Mutual Aid. He said they had worked around a detour before when the bridge on Route 315 was rebuilt in 2016, and that was all summer. “We have measures around this,” Steinmann said.

No one was in attendance from Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corp to give an opinion on the detour vs. the traffic signal.

Amy Buchholz of State Route 12B lives on the eastern part of Route 12B north. She said she has been flooded out several times from the water coming across 12B coupled with the water from the canal bed in back of her house.

She wanted to know the status of the plan to establish a flood plain behind her house on 12B or dig the canal bed deeper to allow more water to flow into it. She was told the plan, which has the Nature Conservancy purchasing the property behind the houses on Route 12B and turning it over to the Town, was still in the works.

Emrich said it is an Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District project, which DOT does not fund but said they are trying to coordinate with them.

Buchholz commented that Stage I – stabilizing the stream running down West Hill, developed by the Soil and Water Conservation District – seems to work if...

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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