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Flooding compounds drainage problems in Liberty

By Carol Montana
July 16, 2014

LIBERTY, NY — During the highway department report at the Town of Liberty department head meeting on July 7, Pat Lubin, a member of the Loomis Committee, reported on ongoing drainage and culvert problems on Old Loomis Road that have been exacerbated by recent storms. “With all due respect,” said Lubin, “I certainly understand this latest rainfall and the damage we’ve suffered… but we have been going over and over and over and over this… the situation we have on our road with the drainage and the ditches. The drainage has to be fixed and addressed. Our whole culvert and ditch area is clogged and that has been going on for years.”

Lubin said that as a member of her neighborhoods’ Community Watch, she has been receiving many complaints. “They’re complaining and complaining and complaining. I certainly understand the highway department is inundated with situations…. It’s put at the bottom of the list because new incidents have happened, which I understand, but you have to understand our frustration. Our paved driveway is deteriorating because the ditches are clogged. We can’t fix the culvert; I checked with the DOT and they told me very specifically that you cannot fix your culvert or replace your culvert until the ditches and the drainage are repaired… so we’re stuck and that’s our situation.”

Lubin’s husband, David, explained further, “Also there’s a danger factor. The water is spilling onto the road and going down maybe 600 to 800 feet. And two days after the storm, the water was still going down the road. So in the wintertime, if we have water during the day and freezing at night, that whole stretch on the Old Loomis hillside is going to be frozen and become very dangerous.”

Pat said that the problems on the heavily traveled road become worse when people take it upon themselves to fix the issues that “really should be done by the highway department. I’ll give you an example,” she said. “A gentleman decided to dig up a ditch to divert some of the water, so he hit some kind of stream, and now it’s like a waterfall coming down, and that’s adding to the problem in that area.”

Supervisor Charlie Barbuti told the Lubins that he would ask his secretary to set up a meeting with deputy highway superintendent Kevin Austin, who was present at the meeting. “We’ll go over the list and see what can be accomplished this summer,” said Barbuti.