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Cicero Logjam project a no-go

Wet weather has stalled the yearly, multi-county flood-prevention project, according to a representative from the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Cicero Town Board held a regular meeting Wednesday Oct. 11 discussing the progress of the Chittenango Creek Logjam Clearing Project.

Michael Johnston, a representative of Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, addressed the board on the past and current actions of the project.

A flood disaster in January 1996 necessitated the project that entailed a yearly contribution from affected towns. The Town of Cicero gives $3,650, the Town of Manlius gives $1,350, and the Town of Sullivan gives $5,000, each amount being relative to the length of stream bank the towns have in the project area of Chittenango Creek, between the NYS Thruway and Route 31 in Bridgeport, according to a summary report provided by Johnston.

The report attributed Assemblyman Bill Magee as contributing $10,000 in 1996, and because of the preexisting program an additional $9,774 came from FEMA after the Labor Day Storm of September 1998.

The fund total to date is $116,000 said Johnston. The account is currently at $7,222, and after a payment by the Town of Manlius the balance should be $17,222, allowing for the continuance of the program.

Johnston told the board that 30 logjams have been removed since the start of the project, but this year has allowed for no further removals. It's been especially wet this year and we didn't want to make a big mess. We haven't screwed up yet, why start now.

An account obtained during an observational canoeing of the creek on Oct. 2 put the number of current logjams at seven, but Johnston expected no serious flooding next spring as a result of deferring their removal until next year.

Other issues

- Charles M. Iavarone, Town of Salina supervisor, proposed the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant for use by the Cicero CanTeen. The project would be to find a permanent home for the teen center on Route 31 closer to the high school, according to Iavarone. The grant requires to ask municipalities to be responsible for 10 percent of grant money, or $15,000, resulting in $150,000 in funding. I have been in contact with the school district, the Village of North Syracuse and I have a meeting with the Town of Clay this week. At that point I will have to reach out to the State Representatives as they would also need to show leeters of support. said Iavarone. The board decided to wait until further information could be processed. The deadline for the grant application is October 23.

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