LYONS — Wayne County supervisors renewed their opposition Tuesday to a controversial proposal for regulating the level of Lake Ontario.
The Board of Supervisors approved two resolutions urging officials not to implement the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Plan 2014. The votes followed presentations by RIT professor Frank Sciremammano and Sodus Point Mayor Chris Tertinek.
Sciremammano is a critic of the plan.
“He’s made this presentation before, and basically, his position is the scientific information quoted in the study is outdated, and it’s flawed,” said Williamson Supervisor James Hoffman, the board’s chair.
Tertinek told the board the plan could swamp his village’s low-lying downtown.
“Basically, we’d be at flood stage now if the plan was in effect,” Hoffman said.
One of the board’s resolutions expressed opposition to the plan and asked officials not to implement it. The other asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help stop the plan from going into effect.
Plan opponents say it would change a status quo that has existed for 50 years. During that time, lake property owners have been able to count on water levels falling somewhere within a 4-foot range.
They say Plan 2014 would mean higher highs, lower lows and more frequent extremes. The result? Property damage, highway damage, problems in local water and sewer plants, and harm to the local economy.
“The increased catastrophic damage is estimated to be at over $2.2 million per year, including docks, marinas, boat launches, parks, public infrastructure (e.g. water and sewer systems) and private property,” the supervisors’ resolution said.
“It does concern us because it’s going to impact property values,” Hoffman said.
A U.S.-Canadian Agency called the International Joint Commission oversees lake levels. It has endorsed Plan 2014 and called for it to be implemented as soon as possible.
The IJC and other Plan 2014 supporters say the current system keeps lake levels artificially stable, harming coastal wetlands and the animals that live there.
The Nature Conservancy, Audubon New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Save The River and Ducks Unlimited Inc. are among the groups backing Plan 2014. In a joint press release last month, they said it would avoid extreme highs and lows, restore plant and animal diversity and increase opportunities for outdoor recreation, pumping as much as $9 million a year into local economies.
In other business Tuesday, the supervisors approved local laws setting salaries for various county officials. The votes followed public hearings at which no one commented.