SL trustees pick engineers to assess flood damage

The Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees will hire two firms to complete the official assessment of flood damage to public infrastructure earlier this spring.

During Monday night's regular meeting, the board voted unanimously to hire AES Northeast and Barton & Loguidice to assess the damage caused by high waters in late April and early May.

The village issued a request for proposals late last month in hopes of finding a firm that could estimate the cost of damages.

Village Manager John Sweeney says AES and Barton & Loguidice teamed up with their proposal and will cover assessment, as well as recommend a course of action for the village - especially as it pertains to either repairing or replacing infrastructure.

Sweeney says the village needs an engineer to do a more accurate analysis of flood damage.

"We didn't have an engineer here to establish a real dollar amount," he said. "We relied upon Franklin County's highway superintendent, John Hutchins, and his best estimate based upon what we knew at that point in time, remembering that the water levels were still at flood stage."

"We were trying to submit something to both the state Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency," Sweeney added. "They came in and did the public assessment side of it in reference to what the damages were that we estimated at that point in time."

According to Sweeney, the two firms will also assist the village in its communications with emergency management officials.

Sweeney says flooding caused about $6 million in damage to village infrastructure in and around Saranac Lake. He's particularly concerned with Hydro Point Park below the Lake Flower Dam, which he believes must be repaired before winter sets in.

Elsewhere, high waters damaged the River Walk, retaining walls above and below the dam, the wastewater treatment plant, sewer lines, and at least two bridges.

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