3 Million awarded to Margaretville for flood relief

By Joe Moskowitz
It took a village and its school to impress the governor. But in the end, Margaretville is $3 million richer for the effort.
During a ceremony in Albany last Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the village would receive an additional $3 million in Rising Community funding.
The extra cash is because the village won  a big prize. The State of New York credited the village with the most outstanding community involvement of any participating community in the state. Village board and Rising Community Committee members picked up a plaque, a trip to Albany, but more importantly, another $3 million.

Efforts rewarded
MARK Project Executive Director and Rising Community Committee member Peg Ellsworth said the village got the money because, “It went above and beyond what the state expected for community involvement.”
In addition to the effort of committee members like Ellsworth, and co chairs Carol O’Beirne and Glen Faulkner, there were public hearings. Village residents were questioned, but perhaps, according to Ellsworth and Mayor Diana Cope, the element that impressed state officials the most was a 20-minute video produced by students at Margaretville Central School. Many of the interviews were conducted at the annual Cauliflower Festival.
Now that the village has $6 million to spend, the question of how to spend it does not get any easier to answer. The money may seem like a lot, but it is meant for flood mitigation and that can require some very expensive infrastructure repair and redesign.
Mayor Cope said at the top of her list is rebuilding the culvert that carries the Bull Run stream under Main Street. She said it is shallow and narrow and is a significant contributor to flooding. That project would cost more than $400,000.

Brook work
She said Scott’s Brook, the small stream behind MCS that few notice except when it floods, needs to be cleared and new culverts installed. That would also cost in excess of $400,000. Then there is the big one, providing property owners with money for flood mitigation. Things like flood windows, filling in basements, or moving furnaces to higher levels. That alone would cost nearly $3 million. 
That is all part of her wish list and the items are among those still being considered by the committee.
There will be a fourth and final public hearing on the issue on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Catskill Mountain Christian Center in Margaretville. And for your viewing pleasure, the video hat helped win $3 million will be shown.