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Manlius homeowners say Congel is draining Snook's Pond

— Manlius homeowners say Congel is draining pond

By Ned Campbell

Snook’s Pond in Manlius isn’t what it used be, and residents in the area say developer Robert Congel is to blame.

Last week the Post-Standard reported that four years ago, ownership of Snook’s Pond’s 155-year-old man-made dam passed into the hands of Congel, who is building a $2.5 million mansion beside it.

Neighbors say Congel, who is not legally obligated to keep water in the pond, drained much of the water in November 2007. Sixteen homeowners are demanding that Congel restore the pond.

“My neighbors are responsible, reasonable, patient people who can’t understand how other people could treat neighbors this way,” lawyer Tom Bassett told the Post-Standard. Bassett, who has lived on the pond since 1979, said his dock has been surrounded by barren muck for most of the past four years.

Congel’s representatives say he is working toward improving the eastern end of the pond, which he owns, and the western end where his neighbors live has always been shallow and inhabited with invasive weeds.

Congel plans to install a floating restorer system across the pond near the border of his property and that of his neighbors. Congel’s representatives say the structure will support plant life and clean the pond water, though some of his neighbors feel the structure will serve as a fence to keep kayaks and canoes off his side of the pond.

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