Amherst seeks state grant to fix intermittent flooding on Pomeroy Court

Pomeroy Court resident Dan Shermeta surveys the puddle that occasionally forms near the entrance of the street in 2017. The puddle covers the entire width of the road.

Pomeroy Court resident Dan Shermeta surveys the puddle that occasionally forms near the entrance of the street in 2017. The puddle covers the entire width of the road. STAFF FILE PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 01-22-2024 10:43 AM

AMHERST — Amherst officials are seeking a state grant to cover the costs to design and clear permits for improvements aimed at preventing flooding on Pomeroy Court, a cul-de-sac off Pomeroy Lane in South Amherst.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman, in a written report to the Town Council, informed elected officials that the town is seeking a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant for $100,000 that will cover costs of surveying, designing and permitting what is expected to be an $800,000 project. The plan is for the project to address the pooling of water on the road from an intermittent stream that, on occasion, prevents residents from driving to their homes and impedes children walking to a bus stop.

The grant would allow the town to pursue a preferred solution, identified by Town Engineer Jason Skeels and Wetlands Administrator Erin Jacque, that will include raising the road to bring it above flood plain elevation, partially culvert the intermittent stream under the two driveways south of the stream, daylight this stream on conservation land and create a flood mitigation area to deliver the water to Plum Brook.

With the grant, the survey, design and permitting can be completed within a 10-month period once a contract is signed.

Residents made an appeal in July to Bockelman and state Rep. Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, to fix the longstanding issue and then met with officials in November.

Bockelman wrote that the amount of water on the road has also become a concern for public safety officials and for those visiting the conservation area.

“Flood water also poses challenges for safety and first responder emergency vehicle access to residents who live on the street. Residents who travel to the conservation area access point on Pomeroy Court must also contend with traveling through flood waters,” Bockelman wrote.

Other simpler solutions have been contemplated, but there is complexity due to the road being constructed in the early 1970s in a flood plain and flood hazard area. One solution would be to reconnect the intermittent stream to its original flow path, but this can’t be done because water, sewer and underground utility lines are below the road. Working around the utilities under the road and the adjacent wetlands would be costly and difficult.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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