Saco, ME -- The citizens of the City of Saco soon will have reason to celebrate a safer, more flood-resistant community. On June 8, 2001 beginning at 10 a.m., City officials will hold a dedication ceremony to celebrate the much-anticipated successful completion of the main phase of the Sawyer Brook flood mitigation project and the public is invited. The project is considered vital to the City's economic and housing conditions due to the fact that dangerous and damaging flooding from the Sawyer Brook Watershed has long-plagued residential homes and businesses in the downtown area of Saco.
To date, the City has successfully completed drainage improvements to Spring Street, Park Street, Riverside Avenue, Ferry Lane, Roebuck Avenue, Boothby Park and Therrien Avenue. The work will continue with drainage improvements to Nye Street and a railroad crossing at North Street; long-term maintenance activities at Sawyer Brook itself; and relocation of a sewer from the Sawyer Brook area to North Street.
Mayor William Johnson said, "While we won't officially be cutting the ribbon until June, the Sawyer Brook project already has had a positive impact. It's great to see a project come to fruition and for citizens to experience the benefits immediately. The chronic flooding residents have experienced in the past is history thanks to this project and the hard work and dedication of those involved."
Department of Public Works Director Larry Nadeau, said, "Completion of the Sawyer Brook Project, one of the largest projects Saco has ever undertaken, represents a tremendous unified effort by a number of municipal, state and federal organizations and individuals. In conjunction with our city leaders, we look forward to publicly recognizing this achievement and those who have made it possible." The $2.6 million project was made possible, in part, through the City's participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) effort to build a disaster resistant community known as "Project Impact " and through Section 404 grants. The Sawyer Brook project, which began in 1995, is being completed through 75 percent funding from FEMA and Project Impact grants and 25 percent local funding. DeLuca-Hoffman Associates, Inc. is handling all civil engineering work related to the project. The firm has offices located in South Portland and Saco, Maine and since its founding in 1986, has served a number of municipal and private clients including the City of Saco.
DeLuca-Hoffman is working with the City of Saco to plan and provide festivities for the June 8th dedication ceremony to be held at the Crown 'N' Anchor Inn, 121 North Street, Saco. Festivities will include a roster of guest speakers and federal, state and local dignitaries, a ribbon-cutting and ceremonial planting at Sawyer Brook, and an outdoor reception. In addition, some 300 students from local schools who have become "Masters of Disaster" through a new safety curriculum introduced this spring under the auspices of Project Impact and City of Saco Finance Director Lisa Parker, CPA, will participate. In addition to initiating the Masters of Disaster program, Ms. Parker also has worked diligently on behalf of the City to secure the grant funds for the completion of the Sawyer Brook project.
The City of Saco's involvement in Project Impact has centered on issues including flood control, safe drinking water, public health, dam safety, building codes, construction standards, hurricane safety, a safety curriculum for local school students, and helping businesses to better prepare and survive environmental and technological disasters. Last year, Saco earned a Project Impact Star Community Award from FEMA for its outstanding efforts to mitigate local disasters such as flooding and hurricanes. If you would like to learn more about the upcoming Sawyer Brook Dedication Ceremony or about becoming a Project I...