Middleburgh gets access for Gorge Creek work


By Patsy Nicosia

The Village of Middleburgh has agreed to trade a temporary easement for its Gorge Creek project for $11,521 in taxes.
That’s the last piece in the $2 million-plus flood remediation effort on Main Street and Clauverwie Road, something “that’s been years and years and years in the process,” Mayor Trish Bergan said after Thursday’s vote.
Without the deal, the village was looking at having to close Clauverwie to traffic for at least two months while construction crews installed box culverts to handle high water from Gorge Creek under the road.
The agreement gives the village a temporary easement through 1562 Clauverwie Road, property owned by the Harold Coons Estate, to the backside of the Middleburgh Elementary School.
Access will be limited to construction, passenger, agricultural, and emergency vehicles; heavy trucks won’t be allowed, Mayor Bergan said.
“They’re going to have to find another way around.”
Construction is on a tight timetable: it can’t start until school is out and has to be finished by Labor Day.
“It will be disruptful, but it’s so important to the village,” Mayor Bergan said. “We’re just asking everyone to be patient.”
The access road will be wide enough for two-way traffic, she said, and it won’t be used until construction gets close enough to Main Street to force the detour.
In exchange for the access, the village will pay the following taxes on the behalf of the owners:
Town and county, $6,268,72; village, $1,252.37; and Middleburgh Central School, $4,000, for a total of $11,521.
The property is for sale and under contract; new owners will have to honor the agreement, Mayor Bergan said.
Engineers for the $4 million project said in October that without a way to get emergency vehicles over Clauverwie while it’s closed there would be no project.
The work was originally funded by the state in 2013 as way to address Main Street flooding in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
Phase 1, which included cleaning up Gorge Creek and building sediment ponds along it, has been completed.
Phase 2—this summer’s—will involve putting a 10-foot-by-5-foot box culvert along Clauverwie to divert water into the creek behind the school.