State Funds to Help New Milford Residents Hit by Repeated Flooding

New Milford awarded $400K in state Blue Acres Funds to help acquire homes hit by repetitive flooding.

Senator Bob Gordon and Assembly members Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace announced Thursday that New Milford will receive $403,075 in state Blue Acres Fund to assist with the purchase of homes affected by repetitive flooding. 

Blue Acres is a state program that acquires properties that experience repetitive loss, demolishes the structure and returns the property to open space. It falls under the umbrella of Green Acres, a program designed to preserve open space.

"This funding will help New Milford take a smart, long-term approach to mitigate the flooding that has caused nightmares for residents for many years now," said Gordon. "Rather than putting a band aid on the problem, we can finally start moving forward with a solution."

This funding, along with FEMA mitigation grants, will help New Milford cover the costs of acquiring five homes from willing homeowners whose homes have experienced repetitive flooding. The FEMA grants will cover 75 percent of home acquisition while the Blue Acres grant will cover the 25 percent local matching grant required by FEMA.

"Flooding has gotten increasingly worse for New Milford residents over the last few decades, making it all that much harder for homeowners wishing to sell their house," said Wagner. "Thankfully, the Blue Acres program will help them obtain fair market value so that they can find sanctity in a neighborhood outside of a flood-prone zone."

Flooding has been a persistent problem in New Milford. In November, after months of demands from residents and officials,   

At that meeting, Rich Henning, a spokesman for United Water, told those in attendance that development in flood plains is largely to blame for New Milford's flooding problems.

Which is why SOD (Stop Over Development) New Milford's grass roots group is dedicated to fighting the proposed United Water property development. Parts of the property, they argue, sit within the boundaries of the flood plain. At the , members of SOD grilled Hekemian's expert engineer, Michael Dipple, on the affects of the proposed development on increasing the flooding.

Dipple said that he considered flooding to be a "minor" constraint and testified that infiltration systems will be installed above and beneath the property to carry the water away from the property.


Have a question or a news tip? Email the editor Ann Piccirillo at annpiccirillo@yahoo.com. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Em June 01, 2012 at 01:13 PM
"Dipple said that he considered flooding to be a "minor" constraint and testified that infiltration systems will be installed above and beneath the property to carry the water away from the property." Ok... so.. uhhh these gigantic "pumps" above and below the property will carry the water which will be unable to soak through the cement city they plan on building. Given that, where exactly will these "pumps" bring the water? Yes... that's right... down river! Oh what a fantastically brilliant suggestion. All the storm runoff.. and released reservoir water will have to go somewhere, if not inside ShopRite, Mr. Dipple. Are you suggesting that homes that have never had to swim before now suffer that burden? I propose a suggestion to you Mr. Dipple and Hekemian... how about adding a massive grant to the Blue Acres and FEMA funding to help New Milford residents so that the homes that will take all your runoff can become open space and those residents can enjoy some quality of life without fear of the next nor'easter? If you want to build in a flood plain.. and have approx 80% impervious coverage... why don't you at least purchase that amount of square footage along the river and return those spaces back to open space? Wouldn't that make sense? Wouldn't that then clear your conscience? How can you sleep at night? I may be naive in the business sector.. but at least I ascribe to a Moral Code and ethic. Do you?
miriam pickett June 01, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I have to say that I love you Em whoever you are. Xxxxxxxxxx
Denise June 01, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Doe's anyone know if the house next to the bridge at the River Edge train station with the "sold" sign on it was purchased with money from the Blue Acres Fund?
Denise June 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I believe this house is across the street from the one pictured in this article.
gerard June 01, 2012 at 04:29 PM
yes 403, 000$ plus fema. thats enough o buy what 4 homes {at fair value)? Suez show profits in the billions. i agree with EM for them to buy the properties and i brought up this exact point at november meeting. The more i ponder , the more i realize that richard henning is merely a puppet for the people who REALLY make decisions at united water. we need to go above him!!!
gerard June 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
that home sold for 180k..none blue acres
gerard June 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
sold for 180k........sans blue acres
Denise June 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thanks Gerard for the info...If I understand correctly, a private individual or investment firm bought this house, knowing full well it is in a flood zone?!......
james June 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Why are people continuing to buy in these obvious flood zones? A new business just opened on River Edge Road and I wish them luck but who pays for the ultimate water damage. We as taxpayers do.
Ulises June 05, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Our elected officials throw tax payer money around to buy up these homes which is a permanent loss to the town's revenue. Yet, they don't address Suez/United Water's mismanagement of the reservoir, they continue to receive campaign contribution from them (Gordon & Wagner), they don't say anything about the overdevelopment along the Hackensack, and our M &C is re-writing the town's master plan in order to compromise with the developer's best interest. This 'compromise', as Councilman Berner told the Bergen Record a few weeks ago, will lead to more purchases of these neighborhoods in the future. Flooding, due to UW's mismanagement & the additional 300,000 gal. of rain water that will be piped down stream (for every inch of rain) once this ground gets covered with asphalt, will make things worse. Wake up New Milford, our politicians and some members of the zoning board want this development by the high school because they favor United Water's overdevelopment deal than what's best for the town's future interest. Join our plight to save open space along the Hackesack River for the sake of the town's best interest. This overdevelopment will increase flooding, demand more teachers, more police, more emergency services, more road work, etc... and more taxes from all of us. Send us an email to SODNOW@yahoo.com or nounitedwaterdev@yahoo.com to find out more on how we're trying to make a difference (follow us on Facebook and attend June 11th's SOD meeting at the Library).
steph August 23, 2012 at 06:40 PM
No businesses or home should be able to rebuild down there.....enough
steph August 23, 2012 at 06:41 PM
so if I am correct, the 4 remaining homes that applied for FEMA now split the 403K?
james August 23, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Steph if people choose to build there or start a business there I think they also need to deal with the consequences from this day forward. Enough of bailing people out for bad choices and not using common sense.
steph August 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I agree, if I wanted more dependents to support I could have had lots of kids. It's not being mean, but it's a choice some will need to make, or they won't be able to pay the ballooning "estimated" taxes in this town!
JQ September 09, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Hi I saw a nice house for sale in Columbia street. 641. I want to buy it, but after all I have read about it I don't know. How bad does that street flood?
JQ September 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Pending Approval JQ 10:18 pm on Saturday, September 8, 2012 Hi I saw a nice house for sale in Columbia street. 641. I want to buy it, but after all I have read about it I don't know. How bad does that street flood?
james September 09, 2012 at 11:25 AM
JQ, Do your homework and search on the internet. You should be able to see and read about the flooding in that area.
Denise September 09, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Don't do it JQ, You'll be sorry if you buy....


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