Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
Udalls Pond was dredged over the past year to remove the silt and dirt that had settled in the pond over the past 20 years. The accumulated dirt was a threat to the wildlife there, and also to the pond’s important function as a rain water runoff site. The adjacent park land was used to store the dredged material in massive black tubes and the plan was to reconstruct the preserve at the end of the process. As neighbors we did not mind the disturbance, and the construction noise, as we knew it was all for a good cause.
Just as everything was winding down, Super Storm Sandy hit. The wind and rain brought so much new dirt and material into the pond that it is now worse than it was before the whole cleanup effort began. The pond is now one-third filled with silt and dirt again, and this will only worsen over time. In the meantime the park is filled with the dredged material, and is an eyesore.
The neighbors around the pond are very concerned about this situation.
The worse case scenario would be to pretend that all is well, and that the pond is dredged and clean and go on to reconstruct the park land. That seems to be the plan, as new dirt is being carted in now, presumably to replant the park.
The best case scenario would be to apply for federal Super Storm Sandy relief funds, or county funds, and use them to re-dredge the pond and complete the job as it should be done, and repair the damage done by the storm.
We call on our local leaders and representatives to help in this effort. Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth has already been an involved and valuable advocate for the area, and helped obtain the initial grant from Nassau County. We are asking Mayor Dan Levy of Saddle Rock and Mayor Michael Kalnick of Kings Point to help in alerting the county officials to this situation. We are asking the Honorable Ed Mangano and Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias of the Department of Public Works, to investigate this situation.
If there is an engineer’s report surveying the pond after the storm damage, we would like to see it.
Let’s face reality and deal with it in a positive way. The pond is not repaired, and to ignore this and go on to replant the parklands around it now would be unwise, self-defeating and a waste of money.