New Milford looks for Smith Creek fix

New Milford Borough Council plans to move forward with an application to the USDA National Resources Conservation Service and Dept. of Environmental Protection to help in flood recovery along Smith Creek.

A property owner along the creek was in the audience at the Thursday, Oct. 4 meeting.

Council president Richard Ainey said he was not opposed to submitting the whole creek as a project for the funding, stating he believed every property along the waterway had a structure well within the 50-feet guideline for potential funding.

In the borough, Smith Creek flows from Susquehanna and James streets and connects with Salt Lick Creek near Route 11.

Mayor Scott Smith has written a letter regarding flooding in the area which has been sent to other municipalities that can opt to add signatures in support.

The letter cites changes in creeks and tributaries as a main reason for the increased flood events.

Smith writes: “We are aware of regulations requiring permits to clean the creeks and of emergency permits after flood occur. These are beneficial but not enough.”

The letter recommends the development of a plan to issue maintenance permits to communities to allot them to remove silt, rocks and other debris that builds up over time. It is proposed the cleaning be done in a very “low water condition” to minimize the impact.

As of the Thursday meeting, New Milford Borough had received commitments from about five other municipalities in signing the letter.

Some progress in addressing Johnston St. issues has been made, as council members met with representatives from Norfolk Southern Railroad and the PUC last week.

A follow-up meeting is slated to be held in November.

Some milling and paving projects on borough streets are expected to be done this month. Council members will canvas the streets to tell residents when the project will begin on the streets slated for work.

The borough’s recreation board has an estimate for renovations for the pool, totaling about $121,000 and includes new coping stones, new concrete, etc. No plans were put in place at the meeting to move forward with any of that work.

The borough will meet next week with the engineers developing plans for a proposed sidewalk and curbing project on Main Street.

Council gave its okay for the Walk of Life to be held at Blue Ridge Park on Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Moving forward, New Milford Borough Council meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. The council meets on the first and third Thursday of each month in the borough building on Main St., New Milford.

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