New Milford dodged a bullet this year; we’ve had no floods. Now that I’ve jinxed that, this is not the time to forget what happened to us last year. Now is the time to implement our existing flood mitigation plan so that we do not suffer the continuing loss of our valuable possessions and value in our houses. In 1961, John F. Kennedy put forth a bold plan to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade and it’s time for someone in New Milford to step forward and put together a bold plan to restore order to our town.
The City of Garfield, which is along the Passaic River, suffers many of the same situations as New Milford; repeated flooding, repeated loss of personal belongings and upheaval in their daily lives. Garfield devised a plan to utilize nine underground retention basins each holding 250,000 gallons (that’s 2.25 million gallons) to divert water away from the Passaic River during flooding situations and release it back at low tide. They have successfully reduced flooding in their town and New Milford can do the same. While likely not capable of preventing
flooding during hurricane-type storms, it could help during out more typical
nor’easter storms. Fortunately, it was 12 years between our last two hurricanes that came through New Milford, so they do not come all too often.
How do we make this happen? The first step is for New Milford to buy the water company property. One thing that Garfield and New Milford has
in common is our grants writer. She did the grants writing for the FEMA grant that paid for the flood mitigation plan and the Green Acres grant that paid for the sports complex on top of it. This is a grants writer that has brought over
$20 million into New Milford over the years and I have full confidence that she
could do it again. While there is risk involved, sometimes the benefits of taking the gamble is worth passing up the sure thing. I’m fighting for the future of New Milford and I hope you come along for the ride.
Howard Berner, CPA
Borough Council President
Borough of New Milford