FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2004
Schumer To President: Don't Shortchange Projects Designed To Help Control Floods In Utica Area Creeks
Senator asks President Bush to ensure Army Corps flood control projects in Utica area and across New York State are fully funded in forthcoming 2005 Budget
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today asked President George W. Bush to fully fund Army Corps of Engineers projects in Central New York in the 2005 Federal Budget that he is scheduled to send to Congress next week. Schumer has heard from local officials across New York State that Army Corps in the state may face draconian budget cuts in the forthcoming budget proposal. These cuts could delay or terminate flood control projects to protect fish and wildlife and maintain water quality in Fulmer Creek, Steele Creek, and Moyer Creek.
"The Utica area is blessed to have these waterways, and the Army Corps has an excellent record protecting and improving them – with a good return on the investment for taxpayers," Schumer said. "Severe cutbacks in these projects could wreak havoc on these streams and pose real danger to their quality of water, and fish and wildlife."
In a letter to President Bush, Schumer highlighted six Army Corps projects across New York State that may face drastic cuts, including studies aimed at improving water quality and protecting fish and wildlife in three creeks within ten miles of Utica: The Fulmer Creek study area is approximately 10 miles east of Utica in the Village of Mohawk in the Town of German Flats and lies along the lower section of Fulmer Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk River; the Steele Creek study area is approximately 9 miles east of Utica in the Village of Ilion and lies along the lower section of Steele Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk River; and the Moyer Creek study area is approximately 8 miles east of Utica in the Village of Frankfort and lies along the lower section of Moyer Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk River.
Frequent flooding occurs along each of these creeks due to heavy flows that exceed the existing channels' capacity. The heavy flows occur as a result of ice jams, which form at the bridges. The principal damage areas lie on the right banks of the waterways and include many residential and commercial structures. The purpose of the studies is to investigate ways to reduce flood hazards resulting from ice jams. The studies seek to maintain fish and wildlife resources of the existing stream and water quality of the streams in the area.
"These projects are extremely important to the economic and environmental health of the State of New York," Schumer wrote to the President. "I respectfully request that as you finalize your budget request for the upcoming fiscal year you give these projects the utmost consideration."
For a copy of Schumer's letter to President Bush, please click here.