Toomey asks to expedite Chemung levee repairs
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has written a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers asking officials to expedite permanent repairs to the Chemung River levee in Athens Borough.
Toomey also requests an update on the project's progress, including estimated project start and completion dates, in the Oct. 2 letter addressed to Col. J. Richard Jordan of the Army Corps' Baltimore District. Borough officials are "desperately seeking repairs to the Chemung Levee to help mitigate future flood damage," Toomey writes.
An approximately 400-foot section of the levee was eroded as a result of last year's flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee. The damaged area has been protected by a temporary repair made by the borough's public works department last October.
A year later, borough officials continue to work with the Army Corps on a permanent fix. A delay in paperwork submission by the project's contractor has pushed back the start of the project, as well as a property-related issue regarding the ownership of part of the damaged section.
"I am dismayed that construction has not yet begun a full year since the flooding occurred," Toomey writes. "One reason for this delay is reportedly due in part to a contractor's failure to submit the proper paperwork. Given the importance of this project, I urge you to do all you can to ensure that further bureaucratic delays of this sort are resolved immediately."
The Army Corps will cover 80 percent of the estimated $2.2 million repair. The remaining 20 percent will be funded through a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.