Flood Mitigation Initiative Considered in Butler
Council members discussed the potential risks to borough by joining Montville's program.
Montville Township has proposed a flood mitigation initiative for the Passaic River Basin communities, and Butler council members discussed how the initiative might affect their community by joining on at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“If we like everything they’re doing, we can agree and move forward with it,” Mayor Robert Alviene said.
But James Lampmann, the borough administrator, cautioned that the council should consider how the Montville initiative would impact Butler.
“We need to be a little bit careful about some of their goals,” Lampmann said.
The initiative proposes using reservoirs as flood control, which would require the reservoirs to be pumped down in anticipation of a flood, Lampmann said. Montville Township Committeeman Scott Gallopo has said the reservoir in Boonton may have been operating at a high volume during the storm that followed Hurricane Irene, which may have led to excess flooding in the area.
But Lampmann said his concern was that if rain does not occur, then the reservoir is left low on water.
“You don’t want to be in a bind where you no longer have water to provide to your customers,” he said.
The proposed initiative would allow the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue an order to reservoir owners in the area to lower their water levels in anticipation of flooding. Such an order would likely be put into effect a week prior to the threat of rain, Lampmann said.
Lampmann added that the council should be cautious in allowing the DEP to control the level of Butler’s reservoir.
“There needs to be a happy medium there,” he said.
Council members were otherwise enthusiastic about the proposed flood control initiative, and Mary O’Keefe, the borough clerk, said she would prepare a resolution for council members to vote on at the next council meeting.