Drainage Improvement Project Stirs Up Controversy In Mamaroneck

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees passed a resolution Monday to allocate money to make drainage improvements on Drury Drive, but questions have arisen over whether the project deserves the funds.

Two residents have questioned whether the $91,000 was a gift of public funds to a private individual, Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum said. But, he said, "Drury Drive is in fact a public road. It's listed in the New York State Department of Transportation as in the Village of Mamaroneck."

"We received messages from residents saying they had been managing runoff from the village roads onto their private property for years," said Richard Slingerland. "The runoff has worsened, so the village is working to make necessary installations and corrections."

It is unusual that the project was not in the capital improvement budget if the drainage issue was so severe as to warrant emergency funding, Mamaroneck resident Sue McCrory said. But the board wasn't aware of the problem until about mid-fiscal year and decided then to take it on, Slingerland said.

But McCrory's question was related to the number of homes on the street. Taxpayer dollars should benefit the public good, not an individual, she said.

"When I look at the map that shows the zoning, there's only one house on Drury Drive," she said. "When we do public works projects, they're supposed to benefit the village. We're not supposed to spend money on something that benefits one land owner."

Two properties receive the downhill drainage as well as a total of five or six houses that front Drury Drive, Slingerland said.

On the bid opening date of Feb. 20, the board received 11 bids, with the apparent lowest responsible bid from ELQ Industries, which priced the project at $91,295.

The funding was decided using standard procedures, Rosenblum said.

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