Letters: A letter to the Syracuse Department of Water Commissioner

To the editor,

During a recent storm event, the seawall at the north end of Skaneateles Lake sustained heavy damage as a result of high wind and water conditions. We anticipate that the village will incur a very significant expense in order to repair that damage and the cost will not be covered by any insurance.

Additionally, during the past week, we have received a number of inquiries from lake front property owners, complaining about damage to their properties caused by the unusually high water level of the lake. We have also heard reports of significant damage suffered by lake front property owners living outside the village, in the towns of Skaneateles, Niles and Spafford. Based upon the anecdotal information available to us, we believe that the aggregate value of the property damage suffered by the lake front property owners, including the village itself, will be very significant.

A number of property owners have argued that during the fall of 2010 and winter of 2010-2011, the lake level was too high and that, in anticipation of heavier than usual snow melt and spring rains, the city should have reduced the lake level accordingly.

I recall from a discussion with city officials many years ago that a computer model is used to help control the level of the lake throughout the year. I am unsure if that is still the case and I am unable to answer the questions being put to me by local residents regarding the appropriateness of the lake level maintained by the city.

I would appreciate it if you would advise me as to what protocol the city uses to control the lake level at various times during the year and, specifically, whether any consideration was given to lowering the level of the lake in recent months in anticipation of the melting of the snow pack and spring rainfall.

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