WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –Some of the dirtiest and most flood prone waterways in our area were added to a new list, making them eligible for millions in aid.
The announcement came after a strong bi-partisan push in Albany signed into law on Wednesday, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.READ MORE: Nor'easter Triggers Blizzard Warning In Suffolk County, As New York Braces For Widespread Snowfall
State and county lawmakers said the flood prone river parkways of the Bronx River are a place to start spending.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, they stood beneath the big dam that holds back 5 billion gallons of water at the head of the river and announced a change in status for 6 downstate waterways, freeing up tens of millions in potential state aid to clean and control them.
“We could start, obviously with the Bronx River coming out of White Plains and right into Scarsdale,” said County Legislator Benjamin Boykin (D-White Plains).
The river is one of three Westchester County rivers now designated as ‘inland waterways’ making it eligible for state clean water funds. The other two are the Pocantico River, and the Saw Mill.READ MORE: TIMELINE: Nor'easter Could Bring More Than A Foot Of Snow To Long Island & Jersey Shore; Up To 8 Inches To NYC
“The Saw Mill River has been studied over and over and the Army Corps of Engineers has come up with plans to dredge it and eliminate the flooding in Babett Court and Downtown Elmsford,” Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) said.
“It’s been a nightmare since I’ve been a little kid. I’ve seen boats on the side of the river which is completely unacceptable and each time it storms it floods,” State Senator Terrance Murphy (R-Yorktown Heights) said.
Three up-county lakes were also made eligible for the state funds; Peach Lake, Campfire Lake, and Echo Lake.
Last year the state handed out $177-million in grants. next year communities along the lakes and rivers in Westchester can submit plans of their own and take a piece of that pie.
“If we can do more to retain water in the northern reaches such as New Castle, there will be less flood waters coming down to the parkways,” said County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky (D-Ardsley).MORE NEWS: Funeral Held For NYPD Det. Jason Rivera, 22-Year-Old Killed In Line Of Duty In Harlem