A proposal to increase water levels in Lake Ontario would cause millions of dollars in damage to lakefront property owners and boaters, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said Wednesday.
The International Joint Commission of Canada and the U.S. unveiled its 2012-2015 priority list last month for the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It includes raising the Lake Ontario water level.
The commission wants to raise the Lake Ontario average level by 2.4 inches in April, 1.2 inches in June and 2 inches in October, representatives said during an informational session Tuesday in Olcott, Niagara County.
Additional sessions are scheduled for Wednesday at Quest Elementary School in Hilton and Thursday at Williamson High School. Both meetings start at 7 p.m.
“Lake Ontario is one of our great natural resources which has been enjoyed and utilized by property owners and recreational boaters in and around Monroe County,” Brooks said in a statement.
“The fact that the IJC has not prepared adequately to avoid major property damage for property owners and boaters, or to make efforts to mitigate that damage, is inexcusable.”
The county owns and operates significant water, sewer, road, bridge and park infrastructure along its 37 miles of Lake Ontario shoreline, the statement said. The proposed regulations would result in potential flooding and increased erosion from high lake levels, it said.
Brooks sent a letter to the IJC opposing the plan and will introduce a memorializing resolution in the Monroe County Legislature, she said.
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