September 12, 2014
Mayors’ Council Gets Broad Support for Rahway River Flood Control Project from New Jersey Lawmakers in DC
The Mayors’ Council Rahway River Watershed Flood Control went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to press their case for funding of the Rahway River Basin Flood Risk Management Study and to present a petition signed by residents from Rahway to Millburn in support of the project. The Mayors met with Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Representatives Leonard Lance and Don Payne, Jr and the office of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. The Mayors received the full support of all the offices which have already been in touch with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in support of funding for the project that will ultimately find the solution to address the chronic flooding along the Rahway River.
“I fully understand the urgency to complete this study and appreciate your efforts in working with the Army Corps and NJDEP to narrow down the potential alternatives,” Sen. Menendez said to the mayors during a meeting on Capitol Hill. “This is my highest priority for the Army Corps to fully fund the feasibility study.”
“As a former Mayor, I know firsthand the devastation that flooding brings on cities,” said Sen. Booker. During my meeting with the Mayors’ Council, they passionately advocated for federal assistance to mitigate flooding in their towns. The chronic overflowing of the Rahway River has closed roads and devastated businesses and homes. I look forward to working with the Army Corps and my colleagues in Congress to make sure we get the funding needed to find the solution to address this problem.”
“I was very pleased that the Mayors Council came to Capitol Hill to advocate for this issue, and I believe that we had a productive, positive meeting,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Hurricane Irene not only caused immense amount of damage throughout the state of New Jersey, it also served as a warning of things to come if we do not find ways to improve the Rahway River basin. It is with this in mind, that I strongly believe that completing the Rahway River Basin Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study is essential. Failure to act will open up our local constituents, homes, businesses, and infrastructure to greater risk. I fully support the Rahway River Basin Risk Management Feasibility Study, and I commend the Rahway Mayors Council of New Jersey for their hard work and dedication.”
“Completing this project is vital to these municipalities and we will continue to work across all levels of government to see it through,” said Lance, the federal representative for several of the affected towns. “The project has strong merits and this prolonged process leaves thousands of residences, businesses and infrastructure in the towns and counties in the Rahway River basin vulnerable to more flooding and more clean-up costs as a result of future storms.”
The Mayors’ Council stated “We believe the full funding of the flood mitigation study is the number one priority and we thank our federal representatives for their support to lead effort.”
In addition to meeting with the Members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation, the Mayors’ Council also met with Mark Mazzanti, Chief of the USACE Civil Works Program to discuss the importance of funding this flood control project and keeping the study on pace so that the residents and businesses in the region can soon be better protected from flooding in future weather events.
The Mayors’ Council is very pleased with the action that the Senators and Congressmen have taken so far to support this project and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure steady progress on the project.
The meeting attendees on behalf of the Mayors’ Council include
Andy Kalnins, Mayor, Cranford Township
Lisa Adubato, Deputy Mayor, Cranford Township
Thomas Hannen, Former Mayor and Commissioner, Cranford Township
Clifton People, Mayor, Township of Union
Ron Manzella, Union Township Administrator
Sam Stienman Mayor, City of Rahway
Jorge Casalins, Administrative Assistant, City of Rahway
Kathy Leventhal, Deputy Mayor, Maplewood Township
David Barnett, Deputy Mayor, Township of Springfield
Leo Coakley, Lead Engineer, Hatch Mott Mac Donald
Dan Aschenbach, Former Mayor, Mayors’ Council Rahway River Watershed, Cranford Township