Legislation (A-2675) sponsored by Assembly Republicans Dave Russo and Scott Rumana, both R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris, that re-appropriates $3 million to dredge waterways of municipalities in the Passaic River Basin was released by the Assembly Budget Committee.
The funds never used from the 2003 bond act were made available due to project deferrals or cancellations from the previously funded Lower Saddle River project.
“Towns along the Passaic River Basin that have chronic flooding issues because of clogged waterways now have the opportunity to address a major factor that causes rivers and streams to overflow,” said Russo.
“The funds will help pay for cleanup efforts to remove debris from sections of streams and rivers that are habitual areas where flooding occurs, impacting homeowners for many years. This is a great opportunity to alleviate an ongoing problem that property owners have asked to be addressed for quite some time.”
“These funds will be used to clean away trees, branches and other refuse that snag in waterways and are major factors in why some rivers and streams along the Passaic River Basin become clogged and overflow,” said Rumana. “De-snagging the identified sections of these rivers will help keep the water flowing properly by reducing the buildup of refuse and garbage in areas where bottlenecks occur. The other key factor in this project will be dredging the shallow sections of rivers that are susceptible to torrential rains. These shallow areas cannot handle the power generated by the force of the water flow and can be a source of flooding. Dredging and de-snagging key sections of rivers and streams along the Passaic River Basin are excellent preventative measures that will save taxpayers and alleviate some of the anxiety homeowners currently deal with.”
The identical Senate bill, S-1781, is sponsored by Russo and Rumana’s colleague, Republican Senator Kevin O’Toole. It was released by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on June 13.
Press Release, June 25, 2013; Image: passaicremovalaction