Local leaders to lobby against 'Plan 2014'

April 19, 2017 11:37 PM

Neighbors along the Lake Ontario shoreline are on edge Wednesday as the water level has been creeping up.

"It's very nerve-racking to deal with having the lake be such a big entity that could flood you any minute," says Cheryl Stevens.

In the 11 years that Stevens has lived near the lake, she says this hasn't been much of a concern. But that changed when Plan 2014 was implemented in January.

"We've been talking about this, scared about this for 11 straight years," says Stevens.

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The International Joint Commission's Plan 2014 calls for higher highs and lower lows for Lake Ontario's levels. The IJC says water levels under the new plan are only a few inches higher than they were under the old plan and the issue right now is runoff and rain, not the plan.

Local leaders, however, disagree with that assessment. "We've got homes that are very close to each other along the shore," says Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich. "Could have families displaced. Everything they own could be lost and I'm not going to stand for that."

Now, Reilich and other elected leaders are turning to President Trump and the state department for help. Reilich says leaders from lakeside communities, including Monroe, Wayne, Orleans, Erie and Niagara counties, met Wednesday to discuss problems with Plan 2014.

Reilich says, "We're going to go down to Washington and we're going to lobby. We're going to raise our voices on behalf of our citizens to try and get some change. We're not going to sit back and say, 'Okay they have made their decision, we have to accept it.'"

Homeowners that hope this time someone will listen.

"It's been a fight for a long time and we lost and we're losing," Stevens tells us.

We're told there is no set date yet on when community leaders will head to Washington D.C.


Nina Porciuncula

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