Chris Collins visits area amidst concerns about Lake Ontario water level

Updated: 07/02/2014 6:33 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 7:47 AM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

A decrease in property values and a negative impact on the economy are the strong claims made by Congressman Chris Collins. He says something needs to be done about water levels along Lake Ontario and he claims the wrong move can be damaging for homeowners.

A plan is in the works to change the water levels on Lake Ontario and it is sparking quite the controversy. The International Joint Commission has decided to continue using a hydroelectric power dam to regulate the water levels. Congressman Chris Collins was in Orleans County Wednesday to voice his opposition to the plan. The congressman says it would be devastating to homeowners along the water as well as to boaters. That's because the plan calls for raising the water levels a foot and a half at its highest point and lowering levels a foot and a half at its lowest point. Congressman Collins says the higher water levels would rapidly erode the shoreline and thus lower property values. The lower water levels would make it harder for boats to get around. He says homeowners across the southern shore of Lake Ontario would be affected. 

Congressman Chris Collins said, “Impacting the boating industry with lower lake levels, where the sailboats would get grounded and higher levels, which would erode the shoreline.”

Congressman Collins says he's committed to stopping the plan from moving forward. He says Governor Cuomo has the final say and can ultimately veto the plan.

If you're a boater, or if you live along the lake, and you don't want to see this plan become reality, you can contact the governor's office and share your thoughts and concerns.

The International Joint Commission released a statement saying, “The DEC will evaluate the changes to IJC's water regulation proposal. We will continue to discuss this important issue with the people who live, work and vacation along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.”

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