Construction equipment is moving roughly 78 hundred truckloads of earth along the Sauquoit Creek. It’s a flood plain restoration project designed to relieve flooding in the Village of Whitesboro. A total of 12 retaining ponds called benches will be built to slow the flow of water, allowing for proper drainage. A temporary bridge has also been built to access Commercial Drive, keeping construction vehicles from having to drive through residential neighborhoods. This construction is a just the first step in helping people like Whitesboro resident Janet Small who's already had it tough.
"We’ve had several losses. Thousands of losses, and it gets old, especially when you get older. You know it gets harder and harder."
Whitestown Town Supervisor Shaun Kaleta tells us Phase 1 of the project is just the beginning, and it’s just the first step in solving a complex problem.
"We realize that the CSX Bridge is a problem, but it isn’t the only problem. Over Commercialization was and continues to be a problem. Extreme weather, and more intense rainfall continues to be a problem, and so is the bridge, but trying to tackle all of those is going to get us the flood reduction that we need."
Many residents affected by the flooding have had it, and are selling their homes, but new people like Ashley Cabrera have moved in and are optimistic about the future of the area.
"It’s a weather issue. Like it’s hard to fix that you know. No one makes it rain. No one like… you can’t really tell a river what to do, so I know that everyone’s doing their best, but hopefully things will actually get fixed up and you know if time goes on and they can’t sell their homes, at least maybe they’ll see that there’s no reason to leave."
Janet Small may have been hit hard, but isn’t ready to give up hope.
"We’ve been disappointed many times because we’ve heard plans before that have fallen through, but I have to be honest. This time I can see things being done."
All this construction has caused a big mess behind the park, but there will be a Landscaping Design Workshop to discuss replanting options. The workshop will be at Dunham Manor Park on Thursday April 18th at 5:30pm.The public is invited to contribute feedback and types of tree species they’d like to see at the park.
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