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Dewey puts up $25,000 to reduce Read Ave flooding

Grass area in front of Little Store site for possible $100,00 project
October 9, 2017

For the second time this year, Dewey officials have unanimously approved matching grant money toward a flood-reducing project on Read Avenue.

During the Sept. 8 meeting, council voted in favor of spending up to $25,000 toward a $104,000 Community Water Quality Improvement Grant proposal to install a bioretention area in front of the Little Store on the oceanside of Route 1.

In February, under the same water quality improvement grant, town council unanimously approved contributing $35,000 toward a $175,000 bayside project on Read Avenue. This project calls for a redesign of existing riprap, a wall of shell bags, planting of marsh grass, an increase in the size of the dune, installation of a flood barrier at the base of the dune to provide structure and a plunge pool to absorb storm-related flood waters. The town received word in August it had received the grant.

Dr. Marianne Walch, Center for the Inland Bays science and restoration coordinator, presented the Little Store project to council. She said it was identified as one of the top priority stormwater controls in a recently completed stormwater planning report for Dewey. The town worked with the center on that report, agreeing to put $50,000 toward the $104,000 study in May 2016.

Walch said for the current proposal, the existing grass island in front of the store will be converted to a bioretention facility. She said the gravel walkway between the island and the store will become an infiltration trench with permeable pavers.

Commissioner Mike Dunmyer said he liked the project and moving forward made sense. The town is putting up $25,000 to get a $100,000 project done, he said.

Property owner Phil Winkler wanted to know if there was a way to measure the amount of water the project will help displace.

Walch said not specifically, but there are ways to calculate and predict the amount. “We’ll have a good idea,” she said.

Walch said the proposal was due to Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Nonpoint Source Program Sept. 20. She said she expected grant awards to be announced in early 2018. If everything goes well, there could be a spring start for the project, she said.

Dewey receives CIB award

Dewey has been selected this year for the center's Friend of the Bays Award in the Partner Category. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals or organizations that have worked in partnership with the center to protect and restore the bays over the years.

The town will be given their award Friday, Sept. 22, during the center's volunteer celebration event at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, 30048 Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View.  The event begins at 3 p.m.