Homeowners, town officials tackling stream cleanup

NORWICH – Fish have more rights than homeowners do, according to one town supervisor who - like a handful of others - has spent nearly three months working with federal regulators in order to rid waterways of flood-related debris.

This summer’s record breaking flood only added to the amount of gravel, dirt, trees and sometimes garbage that was already choking the county’s rivers and streams - even before last year’s flood. “The stream situation in Chenango County is a major problem that has been and will continue to be for a long, long time,” David C. Law, R-Norwich, told members of the Chenango County Planning Board last week. “We need to get our congressmen and senators to support the need to clean them out.”

The Town of Norwich estimated $2.5 million in flood damages this year, most of it to put its streams back together. Homeowners and private businesses had their own expenses as well.

Hank Scudder, of 254 state Highway 320, said he had spent nearly $9,000 fixing damages caused by the June 26 flood to his home and a camp. He said Thompsen Creek located behind his home has eroded away his yard for years. “It’s the DOT’s (state transportation department’s) problem, the DEC’s (state environmental conservation’s) ... Seems that it’s everybody’s else problem and nobody has any money to do anything about it. It’s a serious expense and hardship to people.”

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