Mahwah Asks For Help To Control Flooding
Town council follows up flood conference by passing resolution
Mahwah’s town council passed a resolution Thursday night requesting county, state and federal assistance to “reduce the flooding of properties” along the Ramapo River. The resolution came about as a result of last week’s flood conference Mahwah hosted between six area municipalities affected by Ramapo flooding.
“We want to all pass this together to let the state and federal government know how serious this is,” Mayor Bill Laforet said Thursday night.
Officials at last Friday’s meeting expressed multiple times that flood mitigation projects cannot be done on an insular basis. “We need to make sure that something in Mahwah doesn’t negatively affect Oakland, and something in Oakland doesn’t hurt the towns further down the river,” Roy Bauberger of Oakland’s OEM team said.
Mahwah Council President John Spiech said Thursday night he felt the flood meeting was a “productive start. I thought it was a good thing.”
In Mahwah, Laforet said last week an impending project will de-snag the portion of the Ramapo River that goes from Winter’s Pond to Route 202. Professionals at the meeting said de-snagging projects, which clear snags and debris from the river, would not stop major floods, but should help alleviate flooding during low-accumulation rain events.
According to Laforet, part of the NJDEP permit to dredge Winter’s Pond, which was completed at the end of last year, included a permit to de-snag that portion of the river. But, the permit expires this September. “[The expiration] is kind of a blessing in disguise,” he said. “It gives us a window of opportunity that we need to get this done in.” He said the plans for the project are in place, and the township’s administration is currently working to appropriate funding for it.