Flood recovery plan unveiled for village of Sidney

By Matt Porter

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 7:39 PM EDT

Sidney, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New plans are unveiled for village of Sidney's flood redevelopment as part of NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program.

The village of Sidney's planning committee for flood recovery in New York met to see new markups for the community's recovery project.

The project includes two major developments.

First, the plan to buy the Riverlea Farm, which is a 120-acre family owned farm.

The village plans to buy $1.5 million using money from a $3 million Community Development Block Grant for disaster relief issued by the Federal Housing and Urban Development.

The higher ground land would support new affordable and senior housing, along with more expensive single family housing for professionals as well.

Dennis Porter, co-chairman for the planning committee, said buying the farm will help keep Sidney growing for the next couple decades.

"120 acres of farm land into a new community down the road for 10-20 years," Porter said. "It would be a brand new community consisting of especially low income homes or homes that would be moved from, they are in the flood area."

There are also hopes for retail and municipal buildings, as well as a hotel and conference center.

Realtor Jacqlene Rose said the community investing in the land and basic infrastructure will attract development from all areas.

"Everybody wants shovel ready nowadays. They want to be able to come in, and start their development," Rose said. "And this site will be already for that."

The total estimated investment from public and private sources for the Riverlea Farm project was just more than $93 million over 10 years.

The other major project is a new green plain, an area of land that would be turned into marsh and wetlands to help act as flood mitigators and keep water away from the downtown and industrial areas.

Sidney Mayor Andy Matviak said the project is important for the long-term growth of the area.

"Rather than worry about rain coming each and every month or season and what are we going to do for our residents," Matviak said. "It will allow us to maintain our community, and hopefully our community will grow."

The plans will need to be finalized and submitted by March 31, 2014.

In the meantime, the committee will be required to evaluate and assess both projects with at least one public meeting before the end of March.