Mayor Keith Kazmark, Little Falls Mayor James Damiano, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Tom Asbery announced the finalization and sign off on the Peckman River flood mitigation plan. It will now head to Congress where officials hope it will be funded as part of the 2020 Water Act.
“We have gone through so many versions of this plan,” Mayor Kazmark said. “We’ve pared it down as much as possible to a point we felt would address the major needs adequately.”
The $146 million flood mitigation plan calls for:
• A 1,500-foot-long, 40-foot diameter diversion culvert constructed between the Peckman and Passaic Rivers to divert water from the Peckman to the Passaic. The culvert will run under the Amalgamated Meat Cutters parking lot, Paterson Avenue and part of the Little Falls recreation department field.
• 1,848 linear feet of channel modifications
• 2,170 linear feet of levees and or floodwalls
• 1,207 linear feet of levees and/or floodwalls in the vicinity of Passaic Valley High School, between the track and baseball fields.
• Elevation of up to 16 structures
• Flood-proofing of as many as 58 structures.
“The diversion culvert is huge for us,” Mayor Kazmark added, as water will be diverted prior to it reaching the Borough of Woodland Park. In Little Falls, it will also miss the Jackson Park section, which is the area that has been devastated in previous floods.
The announcement has been 20 years in the making. On June 21, 2000, Congress authorized the initial study of the Peckman River. After Hurricane Floyd, the towns mobilized and formed the Passaic Valley Regional Flood Control Board, which over the years has worked on and seen numerous versions of studies and proposals.
“You have been doing this on your own, and these communities have been waiting for 20 years,” Congresswoman Sherrill said. “You deserve federal action. You can count on me to fight for appropriations.”