Push to shore up aging WC dams gains steam

A push to shore up hundreds of aging dams across Westchester and the Hudson Valley appears to be gaining momentum.

Sen. Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. John Hall are sponsoring legislation calling for an overhaul of dams, such as the 50-year-old structure in Putnam County's Veterans Memorial Park. The measure also calls for a federal assessment of the threat the structures pose to people living downstream in the event of excessive flooding.

"All five counties in my district are disaster areas currently ? state and federal disaster areas," Congressman Hall said.

By one estimate, there are close to 400 dams around New York that are considered unsafe. About 80 of them are located in the lower Hudson Valley.

The Old Mill Dam is once such structure. Ownership of the dam has been constantly disputed between town officials and residents. Town officials say the dam doesn?t belong to them, but homeowners won?t claim ownership either. Neither side is willing to pay for repairs or demolition.

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