Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00
Last May, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, then-Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano met and reached an agreement to handle the flooding issues that have plagued eastern borderline Mineola and Carle Place residents for decades. Previously, the village was trying to get a deal in place with then-County Executive Tom Suozzi, but nothing ever developed.
Village officials confirmed to the Mineola American on Aug. 12 that the project is still very much alive and would be moving forward with construction work as soon as possible. North Hempstead and Mineola are currently hashing out an intermunicipal agreement to grant the town usage of village property so the Town can do the necessary work on North Hempstead’s Carle Place flood project, according to village officials.
The Town of North Hempstead will use and maintain the property on the border of Mineola and Carle Place. Any work done in Carle Place is the Town’s responsibility. Mineola would maintain the Bruce Terrace area.
New York State previously granted $2.4 million to the Town of North Hempstead for flood remediation to be shared by the three municipalities. However, the funds were pulled after a changing of the guard in the 7th Senate District.
Current State Senator Jack Martins had the grants recently restored. Furthermore, it has been required by New York that the monies be used only on this project in respect to the guidelines put forth by the state.
Each of the three municipalities received $800,000 for flood mitigation, which was reported in the July 27 issue of the Mineola American, rather than granting all the funds to one party. Any additional costs above the approved grants would not be funded by the state and the respective party would be responsible for those uncovered costs.
All three parties agreed in principle to fix the problem and will divide the costs equally. The next phase of the project, which has taken over four years to prepare and implement, is the construction assessment, which would be followed by actual construction.
Mineola agreed to reconfigure the south catch basin to handle more storm water flow. The county will build a bypass for water going south on Sheridan Boulevard toward the catch basin to reduce the amount of storm water that heads down to Bruce Terrace and the surrounding area. The water from the new bypass would flow into Mineola’s catch basin.
The Town of North Hempstead, with the village’s consent will build a catch basin on the north side of Westbury Avenue near Glen Cove Road. As to who will maintain it still remains uncertain. In turn, the Town of North Hempstead will clean out the catch basin located on the south side of Westbury Avenue to ease the flow of storm water when the bypass is complete.
When discussions began, it was required that Mineola get preliminary engineering studies done to assess the issue before presenting it to Nassau County and the Town of North Hempstead. The engineers had to study the natural flow of the water and implement a plan to fix the problem.
The solution is multijurisdictional. Nassau County storm water lines are used to funnel the water, but don’t have the capacity to handle heavy, steady rain over long periods of time and feed into Mineola’s catch basin.
The engineers retained on the project have concluded three factors that must happen. First, the piping on Sheridan Boulevard has to be changed. Second, the connection point with Nassau County drainage lines has to be fixed to handle larger water flow and third, the village’s catch basin needs to be dug out to compensate for the extensive water flow in that area.
Since homes were built in the area of and on Bruce Terrace on the border of Mineola and Carle Place approximately 60 years ago, flooding has ensued during times of heavy rainfall. The area around Bruce Terrace is essentially, the funnel of all the rainfall because of the flow and gravity issue on the border of Mineola and Carle Place.
In terms of gravity, water in the area flows west to east, starting from Sheridan Boulevard and north to south from Jericho Turnpike. The houses in that area sit in the lowest part of the village of Mineola, which is where all the water flows. Roslyn Road is the dividing line in terms of the change in the water flow, once it crosses over it west to east.
Under the geographic area of Bruce Terrace, Dow Avenue, Jerome Avenue, Fairfield Avenue and the surrounding area, sit drainage lines. Those drainage lines collect that water and move it underground into the catch basins.
During times of heavy rainfall, the drainage lines don’t transport the water fast enough, which causes the storm drains to fill up and pool in the Bruce Terrace area. Carle Place homes sit directly behind the east side of Bruce Terrace.