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Waterville Seeks Grants For Creek Repairs

After applying for a grant with Oneida County to help with creek repairs, the Village of Waterville is waiting to see if it will be given.

At last week’s Village Board meeting, Department of Public Works Superintendent Jamie Bechy said the village applied in August for some of the $2 million Oneida County had available. He said an answer was finally given last week.

“They think it’s a great project and it’s needed,’’ Bechy said. “But they want to wait until April 1.’’

Oneida and all other counties are waiting for the New York state budget to be settled; the deadline is April 1. In his budget address Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated the state has to find ways to pay for costs from the pandemic and will be reducing aid and payments throughout the state.

Bechy said the grant is a matching one, with the county providing 75 percent and the village the remaining 25 percent. Waterville’s total request is $250,000, with $172,500 asked for from Oneida County.

Bechy said snow before Christmas, then rain Christmas Eve along with the snow melt brought the water up high again. A Sanger Avenue resident said the bank eroded close to their fence; Bechy said the next round of rushing water likely will take the fence down.

Also in the past months Bechy said he has had multiple virtual and phone meetings with FEMA. This included giving FEMA officials a virtual tour of the White Street reservoir site.

That area was also hit hard by the 2019 Halloween flood, and others since.

Bechy said the village has two options. Apply for funding to bring the reservoirs back how they were before the 2019 flood, or decommission them. If they go back as they were, he said, it will be expensive to bring them to codes and maintain them.

That too is a 75/25 percent matching grant program. In the flooding in 2019 and at Christmas, Bechy said water reached the water tank there.

“It was terrifying,’’ he said. “If we lose that tank we lose...


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

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