Gilbertsville recovers from flood damage

·2 min read

Sep. 14—Officials in Gilbertsville are hailing the village's recovery from damaging floods.

Otsego County Representative Jerry Madsen, whose District 2 includes Gilbertsville, spoke with The Daily Star on Sept. 13 about flood damage repairs that were completed at the end of August. The village received $50,000 from the county's allotment of American Rescue Plan Act funds to do the work.

Two years ago, a flood caused stones to lay six to eight feet across Dunderberg Creek, which runs through the village. The rocks created a dam that caused damage underneath a privately owned barn alongside the stream. Erosion caused by the flooding caused damage throughout the creek and the neighboring properties, according to Madsen.

"Otsego County had to rush the $50,000 needed to rebuild the bridge. The reps expedited the money so we can get this project done before the deadline and before the heavy rain," he said.

According to Madsen, the DEC requires projects such as the bridge repairs to be completed before Sept. 15.

"The DEC says after September 15th they don't want anyone working in the creek so they shut them down. We got an extension after the deadline, but then the heavy rains prevented us from working on the bridge last year," Madsen said.

The bridge project is one of the many repairs being made to repair damage caused by flooding.

A wall alongside the stream was repaired and the stream bed was cleaned out, according to Madsen. Gravel was placed underneath the barn, and private property owners surrounding the bridge and stream are working on their own repairs.

"Privately owned properties are being worked on and the village didn't want to take any responsibility for those properties due to destitute funds," he said.

Recently, Gilbertsville invested in a water project that almost led the town to bankruptcy and the village is just beginning to regain those funds, according to Madsen.

"The individual property was estimated to be around $75,000 to $80,000 in repairs and it was quoted somewhere that the streambed would cost anywhere between half a million to a million," Madsen said. "If Gilbertsville lost this bridge, the water main would have been lost for half the village. It would have cost more money than to repair the bridge."

Otsego County Representatives are giving out $50,000 to other towns within the county for projects such as the repairs made in Gilbertsville and other infrastructure improvements, Madsen said.

Alexis Ochi, staff writer, can be reached at aochi@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213.