Concerns Over Raising Lake Ontario Water Levels | News
WILSON, N.Y. - The International Joint Commission wants to raise the water level of Lake Ontario, but they're facing some tough opposition not only from Niagara and Orleans County legislators but from lakeside homeowners.
The big concern centers on the controversial "BV7" plan. This plan by the International Joint Commission could alter water levels by up to 12 inches for the first time in several decades.
Two Town of Wilson homeowners told 2 On Your Side they oppose they plan because raising the lake levels means more erosion to their lake front property.
They say every year they've lost on average 6 to 8 inches of their property which gets washed away by high waves. Raising water levels would mean even more loss.
The International Joint Commission, according to its website claims it is examining a new approach to managing water levels and flows on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The commission's Public Information Officer Frank Bevacqua told 2 On Your Side water levels are actually sinking because of problems with a dam that was put in place decades ago.
"We've been working on this for 12 years. We've looked at a lot of alternatives, but we're committed to getting it right," said Bevacqua.
Thomas Jones said he moved into his lakefront home in 1973.
"I used to have a beach. I used to be able to walk the beach. I've got M/S right now. I can't walk the beach, but I don't have a beach anymore. Its right up to my bank," said Jones.
Niagara and Orleans County leaders say this proposed plan could end up costing millions of dollars in revenue that a lot of the communities along the lake depend on.
State Senator George Maziarz is one of them, and he tells us he's actively working to mediate the fight between the homeowners and the commission.