WXXI AM News

Officials from some lakeshore communities plan to lobby against lake level plan

Apr 20, 2017

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich met this week  with representatives of some of the towns along the Lake Ontario shoreline to talk about the impact of Plan 2014, which is the plan formulated by the International Joint Commission, involving representatives of the U.S. and Canada. That plan  allows for wider swings in lake levels.

Environmental advocates have argued that the previous plan impacted wetlands and did other damage to the environment.

Reilich says he and some of the other officials of communities along the southern shore of Lake Ontario plan to go to Washington soon to lobby against the plan.

“This plan would not be in the best interest of our residents in so much as it elongates the period of time that the water levels are higher and every week that you remain with higher water levels, is the likelihood that a windstorm  or something could cause a lot of erosion and damage and flooding,” Reilich told WXXI News.

Frank Bevacqua is a spokesman for the IJC. He says that the lake level plan that was implemented earlier this year really had a negligible impact on the current high water situation.

“Plan 2014 took effect on January 7th,  and it has contributed a very small amount to the situation we’re seeing now…things would only be marginally better if the old plan were being followed, it’s just a couple of inches difference,” he told WXXI News.

Bevacqua says the main issue has been a very rainy April, as well dramatic swings in temperature over the last few months. 

Reilich says he is concerned about homeowners in his town who may be impacted soon if the water keeps rising.

“We supply the homeowners upon their request , sandbags; we have thousands and thousands of sandbags that we’re prepared to distribute along with the sand that’s necessary, so we’re going to assist them with that effort  and hopefully it won’t be required, but we’re prepared if it does.”

Residents have been putting down sandbags in other communities as well including in Sodus,  in Wayne County.