Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tax Dollars at Work

I wanted to talk to Highway Superintendant, Jack Bush, about some details of his 2007 budget request. Neither of us wanted to be stuck in his office in the town garage yesterday, so I met him on the job at the new Town Hall site. Work is well underway and the open meadow where we met last month to break ground is already a distant memory.

Dryden Public Works crew and a private contractor were at work removing an underground fuel tank on the adjacent property recently purchased by the Town. The bad news was that the tank was nearly full. The good news was that it wasn't leaking. Three or four hundred gallons of fuel and water were pumped out of the tank. The tank will be cleaned and recycled and the fuel will be processed for recycling.

Jack and I talked about the budget in the truck on the way to where rock was being delivered for the Virgil Creek Stabilization Project. Flooding caused the creek to shift course a few years ago bringing it up against the base of the hill in the background. At the top of the hill the road is just a few feet away. So moving the creek back to its original course away from the hill was important to protect the hill and the road above. The relocation of the creek has been accomplished but placement of enormous rocks to stabilize the current course is ongoing.

We went on to visit the Virgil Creek Flood Control Dam. My crude composite photo doesn't begin to show how beautiful this area is.

I don't normally favor tampering this much with natural features. But if the village of Dryden must be protected from flooding, this seems like a good way of doing it. Above the fish ladder you can see the original course of the creek.

The earthen dam is the hill in the background of this view of the restricting culvert. During a "heavy rain event" the five foot diameter culvert restricts the amount of water flowing downstream and the water is held in the huge, man-made basin. A high water marker can be seen (barely) in the panorama above just to the right of the trees in the center of the photo.

And from atop the dam, this is the view of the Creek going more or less happily on its way. This 90 acre area is open to hiking and the dreaded snowmobiling. Seems to me it would also be good for cross country skiing.


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