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Scarsdale Board of Trustees Votes to Fund Drainage Study at Murray Hill and Post Roads

The new plan would increase drainage, raise the high school's parking lot, while expanding the project but also creating some savings.

The Scarsdale Board of Trustees voted Tuesday morning to amend a plan to improve stormwater drainage in the South Fox Meadow.

The board authorized an increased payment of $98,100 to Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers to complete study of a plan to build a stormwater detention basin at Murray Hill and Post Roads.

Part of the construction would involve excavating up to 14,000 yards of fill and then using the fill to raise a gravel parking lot at Scarsdale High School by three to four feet.

The project amends an existing plan that is partially funded by Westchester County, which awarded Scarsdale $1.45 million as part of its Flood Action Grant Program. That amount is half of the estimated cost of construction.

Initial investigations of the plan revealed that another proposed detention basin at Harcourt Woods would not be cost effective, but cited a location at the corner of Murray Hill and Post Roads as useful. Construction there would be contingent on purchasing private property at 2 Murray Hill Road.

The extra money approved by the amendment will allow Dvirka and Bartilucci to bill for surveying, engineering, environmental assessment, permitting and other construction services.

The amendment did not pass without some discussion, as Trustee Robert Harrison wanted to wait before funding the study, repeatedly attempting to persuade other board members and Mayor Flisser to wait. But he was in the minority.

The amendment also included planning to improve drainage between George Field Park and Cooper Green—an area called Cambridge Bowl—by adding surface drains with check valves. These would tie into existing storm drains.

According to Village Manager Al Gatta, repurposing the fill locally is estimated to save between $350,000 and $400,00, while raising the parking lot at the high school and adding drainage check valves at Cambridge Bowl will raise the overall cost of the project from a total of $2.9 million to $3.15 million.

Deputy Manager Stephen Pappalardo said during the meeting that raising the parking lot as a stand alone project, which was identified in the Village's Stormwater Grant Application as one of 26 possible capital improvements that would relieve flooding in the village, would cost $1.3 million. He therefore advocated raising the lot in concert with the Fox Meadows project.

Separately, the board also resolved to license a new trail through Harcourt Woods, the city-owned park adjacent to Scarsdale High School. The trail is a proposal spearheaded by local Boy Scout Connor Pascale, who designed and marked it as his Eagle Scout Project. The project will be used as a nature trail and also by the high school's Science Department as a component of the Biological Science curriculum.

The trail is about 600 feet long and winds through the park. Pascale and SHS biology teacher Rich Clarke will create the trail by removing debris and litter from the path and laying down wood chips. The Village has agreed to maintain the trail by removing garbage and debris. The license between the village and the school district renews automatically every year.

The resolution for the license passed unanimously.

Before going into executive session, the board set a tentative meeting date of either Sept. 19 or 26 to further discuss land use, affordable housing and the new wetlands map.  

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