Pond Hill neighbors turn to Village Hall for help

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:22

    Warwick — More than a dozen residents from the Pond Hill neighborhood came to Village Hall last Monday to voice concerns and complaints about flooding that they attribute to the development of the Liberty Green Apartments located between Fairview and Pond Hill avenues. Although developer Jonah Mandelbaum installed remedial drainage, residents said the situation is getting worse as the water has no place to go but into their basements. “My yard is eroding away,” said Vicky Ergeson, a 20-year resident of the area. Another woman feared she and her family would get sick from the mold developing in her basement, a concern shared by former village trustee Eileen Patterson who also lives in the neighborhood. “We didn’t have a problem before the development was built,” said one woman, who said her husband now has pneumonia from mopping up all the water in their basement. One man complained that he has purchased three sump pumps to no avail. Several residents said a severe storm in March of last year flooded Pond Hill and others voiced concerns about making claims to FEMA for flooding from tropical storm Irene when the flooding problems predate recent storms including Lee. “We are pumping water into each other’s basements,” said Patterson, who complained that she and her neighbors cannot bail out the water fast enough. She also asked the mayor for a meeting of with the village engineer for her and her neighbors and encouraged him to review the meeting minutes from the time when Mandelbaum was still in the planning phases for the site. Records from 2005 confirm that drainage was a known issue in May 2005. “Mandelbaum did (remedial drainage) as an off site improvement,” said the mayor in response to complaints about the effectiveness of the current drainage system, which collects water in a retention basin before dumping it into the pond. Proposed as a 240-unit housing development for seniors, Mandelbaum completed the first phase of 84 units in January 2009. In addition to state aid, Liberty Green received payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements from both the town and the Village of Warwick. Next steps include the mayor organizing a meeting for Pond Hill residents with the village engineer. In other news: The board authorized payment of audited bills totaling $645,548.26 The board scheduled a work session for Oct. 11 to discuss a pilot program for keeping fowl, rabbits and chickens in the village. The board discussed a request from Warwick Grove to waive three fees, for which the village budgets to maintain municipal water, sewer and parks. The board agreed unanimously that the request was “not reasonable” and instead would propose accepting a delayed payment that would coincide with the issuance of a certificate of inspection. The next regular meeting of the board will be held on Monday Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Warwick Village Hall, 77 Main St.