Millponds maintenance delayed

Monroe. The village says the original contractor failed to finish the job, requiring a renewed search.

Monroe /
| 09 Jan 2024 | 04:20

The Monroe Village Board held a special meeting on the morning of January 5 to discuss updates on the long-delayed Crane Park dredging project. The beloved Millponds were created through a project spearheaded by Roscoe Smith and members of the Monroe Improvement Association nearly 100 years ago. Discussions about dredging the Millponds to remove dangerous algae are nearly as old.

During the meeting, Monroe Village Mayor Neil Dwyer provided an update to the two other trustees in attendance, Trustee John Karl III and Trustee Andrew Ferraro. The dredging was slated to begin in the fall of 2023 but hit a delay when the contractor hired to work on the project decided to flake, for lack of a better description. The failure of this contractor to complete the project led to a legal tussle with the village. Mayor Dwyer signed documents at this meeting allowing the village attorneys to proceed with the collection of the original village bond held by the contractor.

According to Mayor Dwyer, the new contractor was brought in twice and asked if they could modify their original bid that was submitted to the village. The new contractor has apparently done so and the village engineer, Eric Zimmerman, was said to be reviewing the revised bid.

This new bid was described by the mayor as “more involved” to make the project affordable. He stated the first bid was very aggressive, and had it proceeded as planned, the dredging would have already been underway. The new bid will see the use of sock technology, with the socks being placed in certain areas around the pond to handle the dewatering aspect of the project. The “socks” are less like the socks you wear on your feet and more like large buckets you might use when your ceiling leaks. The socks collect sediment during the dredging process, which can then be collected by the village and taken away. If utilized, the socks will be placed in minimally invasive areas.

Currently, the village is looking at placing one sock on the north pond’s playing field area. Potentially another sock could be placed on the south pond over on the Route 17M side. Placement of the socks and the overall dredging project will not impact anyone’s access to the park itself. The mayor mentioned that, depending on how the pond dewaters, the benefit of the proposed sock locations would also allow events like the carnival to continue without interruption. Trustee Karl asked if it was possible to just drain the water from both ponds and dredge the bottom of them. Mayor Dwyer mentioned this was also something under consideration and dependent on the recommendations of the village engineer. The village board hopes that the project will get underway later this year.

Other business

During their regularly scheduled village board meeting on January 2, the Monroe Village Board introduced the “Village of Monroe Environmentally Constrained Lands” law and opened public comment on the new law until January 16 at 7 p.m. This proposed law would allow the village to remove sensitive lands from the calculation of available lots in the village in an effort to protect vital aquifers and wells. This law has been under discussion for quite a while as part of the larger village Comprehensive Plan.