March 7 2019 Public Meet synopsis
For the sake of brevity, which many of you know is not a talent of mine; I will refer to the NYS Canal Corporation as the NYSCC or the “State” throughout this update. I apologize for my grammar throughout any of these updates but I hope the thought/idea gets through regardless at how poorly it is stated. On the bright side, just be thankful for spell check. This is a first draft and will reside on our website. Should corrections be needed, the website document will be amended. Further, updates will appear under the heading "Lake Issues" and the-
The following is a brief synopsis of the NYS Canal Corporation public meeting held on March 7, 2019 at the Fabius Elementary School at 6:30 pm. The purpose was to inform the public regarding their proposal/plans for repairing some dam deficiencies as required by the Dam Safety Regulations that became effective on August 19, 2009.
NOTE - There will be another public meeting in the May/June time frame for residents/stakeholders that were not able to make the March meeting.
As many are aware, the Lake Association has kept up following the regulation implementations from day one and how they could potentially affect the Reservoir. DeRuyter is classified as a C dam which is a high hazard.
Seems like a century ago (it’s only been a decade though) since this journey began but we are indeed fortunate to have arrived at this place and with GREAT Partner – the New York State Canal Corporation and the NYS Power Authority.
Brief history overview - The NYSCC while under the NYS Thruway Authority determined the first order of business was to understand how the new Dam Safety Regulations would affect the Reservoir and what would be required to bring our dam into compliance. To that end, they hired a large engineering firm, Bergmann Associates, Architects Engineers Planners to do initial assessments on all the “southern feeder” reservoirs they found themselves in charge of.
Bergmann then hired sub-contractors to develop initial data for them to do assessments and ultimately develop compliance plans. Installing piezometers and drilling core samples through the dam to well below the base to ascertain stability and soil conditions plus numerous field inspections. An initial report to be submitted to the DEC by August 19, 2012. We have documented some of those efforts in other areas on the website.
As these assessments were developed and refined by the Bergmann Associates, the information to the extent possible was shared with members at our Lake Association meetings through the years so I will not waste time going over them – some highlights that were reported are noted in the Lake Association minutes on this website.
On January 1, 2017, the NYSCC was transferred to the NYS Power Authority. Fortunately, most projects, personnel, etc. also went with the transfer and at least from our perspective, the transfer was flawless. While some of our contacts have changed, the professionalism and expertise of the staff that we were accustomed to with the Thruway Authority have not. They are, as always, a credit to New York State residents and an excellent partner with us on DeRuyter.
So, where is this place that we arrived at?
Attached in pdf format is the slide presentation given at the March 7th, 2019 meeting that explains the how, what, whys and when that provides all the basics of the project plan as to date. There is still more refinements that will be developed but there is enough information for them to move forward including completing the SEQR process then let bids out and select contractors for the job.
Going forward, we will attempt to update this site as soon as possible so everyone has the same information that will hopefully reduce rumors and provide answers to the same questions that many will have.
The state is also considering a website devoted to this specific project to list updates. If and when that occurs, we will provide the link here.
While this project has many complex parts to it, the NYSCC and its engineering firms have done everything possible to accomplish the tasks with public safety and with as little impact on the residents as possible.
BUT, it can’t be over stated, no matter how well of a plan is developed; success of this project within the projected timeframe is beyond everyone’s control. Weather and precipitation can wreak havoc or make this project a success. Keep our fingers crossed.
So in conclusion, the NYSCC has gone above and beyond in being a Great Neighbor in this project that when all is said and done will benefit future generations of DeRuyter Reservoir and Lake Association members. So, in my opinion, we should be a good neighbor towards them and be thankful of our partnership. To that end, any inconvenience that may occur through a project this complex, before complaining, take some time to put it in perspective and realize the ultimate benefit.
If you have a specific complaint or question, before calling the State, as usual, contact us first so as to not over burden the State with questions that we may already have the answer to. Plus, your question may not be unique and others may have the same question. We will do our best to supply the answer and put it on the website so others can be informed at the same time.
As usual, any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please leave a phone number in case we need more clarification. I also can be contacted at 315-471-1676 currently for the remainder of the winter and plan to move out to DeRuyter in the April/May time frame where I can be reached at 315-852-9825.
Hope to see you all soon and hope for perfect weather conditions for the duration of the proposed project.