West Seneca to Ask U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Help

West Seneca, NY - It's happened twice in the last month and Monday night, the West Seneca Town Board officially asked for help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fix the flooding problems along the Buffalo Creek.

"This was written in 1979. We ain't done one thing about it yet. We don't have to have another study. We don't have to spend a million. The answers are right here. Here, Mike, give it to him. We don't have to restudy nothing," says flood victim Dave Monolopolus.

But Monday, West Seneca decided to find out how much a new feasibility study on the Buffalo Creek would cost. The last estimate from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was a million dollars.

The federal government pays for the first $100,000 and after that, it only picks up half of the bill.

"We as a town are responsible at this moment, and the moment this happened, as we have to react to the situation in a positive manner that's going to have a positive impact in the families that were hit by this, and we are doing that," says West Seneca Town Supervisor Sheila Meegan.

Still, some neighbors think more could be done to prevent more flooding.

"You've got to do something about this," said flood victim Audrey Petri.

"Ma'am, we are we're working on it," said one town official.

"No, you're not. No, you're not. What are you doing? You took a walk around the creek today tripping over the stupid ice and whatever. You have got to do something. We are taxpayers. We are voters," said Petri.

Larry Miceli is one of the dozens of homeowners out thousands of dollars despite having flood insurance.

"It's a construction zone. We had about a foot, or more, of water on the first floor," Miceli explains.

Larry, and his wife, are now living with her mother while their house is being redone. He hopes a feasibility study can turn into a permanent solution.

"The water that is being displaced by the ice jams has to go somewhere, and the most logical place for it is on the vacant farmland that someone would probably have to buy," he says.

After the study, federal funds would cover 65-percent of the cost of the project not including land.

"This is not a fast process, and the Army Corps does admit that," says West Seneca Engineer Rick Henry.

The letter that Meegan is sending to the Corps of Engineers is a letter of intent to cooperate on the project. It is not a contract, and it says either party can back out at any point in the process before construction.


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