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Hillsdale Seeking More Bids For Dam Engineer

Hillsdale wants an engineer who specializes in dams to review United Water's plan for the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir Dam.

Hillsdale officials are making a second attempt to find an engineer who specializes in dams to review United Water's plan to upgrade the dam at the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir.

Officials, citing concern that the project could increase flooding along the Pascack Brook, had initially sent out a call for bids over the summer, with a limit of $10,000 to spend on the project. Mayor Max Arnowitz previously told Patch he hoped to have an engineer finish a report by September.

They only received one response, with a quote of $12,500, according to borough administrator Jonathan DeJoseph.

Now the borough is going to make a second call for bids, and they're upping the limit to $12,500. DeJoseph said they hope to get more responses with the higher budget.

The Department of Environmental Protection is requiring United Water to strengthen the dam so it can withstand a 1,000-year storm, or one about six times as powerful as Hurricane Irene.

United Water's plan, which the DEP approved last year, will lower Church Road where it crosses the dam. Some residents have said they believe the project would increase the rate of water flowing into the brook during storms.

Hillsdale officials want the borough's planning board to review the dam plan before United Water proceeds with the project. United Water does not believe the review is necessary. Planning boards do not typically review plans for dams because they do not have the expertise, according to Rich Henning, a United Water representative.

The borough's expert would write a report for the planning board to review if they do examine the plan.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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