A year after the creation of the Todd’s Pond Advisory Committee, progress toward resolving problems at the Katonah pond is moving ahead slowly but surely.
“We have been video meeting approximately monthly with Arcadis, the engineering contractor the town retained,” said Lou Sorell, the interim chair of TPAC. Arcadis is a global consultancy based in the Netherlands, with a local office in White Plains. Its services include site management and restoration, among others.
According to Mr. Sorell, Arcadis was hired to prepare a study of Todd’s Pond, which will be used to guide decisions on future remediation work. The pond is located near Cherry Street at the intersection of Lily Pond Road and Lakeside Drive.
Mr. Sorell said Arcadis has collected information from the Commissioner of Public Works, Kevin Winn, which will be used to evaluate the pond’s role in flood control along Valley Road and possible downstream impacts in the Katonah business district.
“Although we had some delays due to COVID-19, on June 19 Arcadis was finally able to have a two-person team measure pond depth and take sediment samples at various pond locations,” Mr. Sorell said. “This information is necessary so that Arcadis can develop a cost estimate for various pond remediation options, possibly including sediment dredging, dewatering and removal.”
Mr. Sorell said Arcadis has yet to provide results from the study. “I suspect they are processing the information to report to the committee the next time we meet.” He said a date for the next meeting has not yet been set.
TPAC has met monthly since July 2019. It was created by the Bedford Town Board in June of that year to evaluate the condition of the pond, including the buildup of solids and silt, and the extent to which the pond aids flood control in the immediate vicinity and other parts of Katonah.
TPAC’s mission also includes making recommendations to the town board on ways to improve conditions of the pond.
Also known as Cherry Ridge Lake, the pond was originally man-made and created as a source of ice for harvesting in the days before refrigeration. In 1955, the pond’s two owners turned ownership over to a lake association. In 1997, the association transferred ownership to the town under a deed that required the town to maintain the pond in its “current state” in perpetuity.
Since then, residents who live in the vicinity of Todd’s Pond have raised a number of concerns about the condition of the body of water. These include the pond filling with silt, the water dramatically decreasing in depth, neighboring basements flooding and lawns turning into marshes, and a retaining wall that appears to be crumbling. An engineer hired by the residents found that the pond was key to draining the surrounding neighborhood and mitigating possible flood damage downstream.