Our water levels are finally below flood stage, approximately 247.2 today. Yesterday a small group of us met with Jane Corwin, US Co-Chair, Pierre Beland, Canadian Co-Chair and two others from the IJC. The focus of the meeting was twofold: to insure they understood the impact of the flooding on our village over the last 3 years and to understand what actions they were taking, if any to remove water from the lake. We covered business impacts, residential impacts and municipal impacts. We discussed the physical damage, the mental fatigue and the frustration in not knowing how to best protect our properties. The Commissioners have directed the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board to present a set of options on how to get more water out of the lake in the fall, winter and spring. This likely means some changes to the shipping schedule which last year went to long that a ship was stranded in the ice. We will hear more about those options in about 2 months.
The longer term work includes another study similar to the one that was proposed in 2017 and never funded by the US. The study is expected to take 18-24 months and will look at specific changes to the plan. This is similar to what occurred when Plan 58D became Plan 58DD in the 1960’s. Canada has funded their portion, the IJC commissioners expect approval for US funding this month.
The Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board also has a new member this week. Bill Reilich, the Greece Town Supervisor has been appointed to the board as an additional voice of lake shore residents. His Canadian counterpart will be announced soon. This should help us moving forward. Bill is both very familiar with the issues on the lake shore and politically well connected.
At REDI meeting #3 held last week we got to see the estimates for projects as prepared by the state’s engineers. In the two projects that the village had obtained our own engineering estimates there were huge increases. Unfortunately, no details, project descriptions or assumptions were provided. In discussions after the meeting we did learn of some erroneous assumptions. That has prompted a committee meeting Friday afternoon where I expect we will get the project descriptions. REDI meeting #4 is scheduled for Wednesday, September 11TH, AT 1:00 P.M, at the Wayne County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 2nd Floor, 26 Church Street in Lyons. This will be the final meeting before the Wayne County recommendations are presented to the governor.
The Governor issued a press release earlier this week regarding the residential flood relief program. Similar to the 2017 initial announcement, it limits help to primary homes only. I would recommend that even if the home you need to protect is a second home, you continue to obtain estimates and submit a request. In 2017 the rules changed several times once the program started. I have heard rumblings that the $20M is likely to grow already. The application period is October 1 through October 31! You can express your interest and get updates directly from the state by registering at submit their contact info here
Our State of Emergency will expire over the weekend and will not be renewed. With the water levels now below flood stage and the aqua dams and pumps coming out next week there is no justification to continue in a State of Emergency.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out.