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Tale of two dams

Hurricane Irene last summer dramatically illustrated all that is wrong with this second dam. The worry was that Kingdom Dam would blow out, but it didn’t because the County 7 dam so restricted the water flow and kept that water in Upper Pond. As a matter of fact, Upper Pond rose about four to five feet during that terrible storm and Lower Pond rose about 18 inches. Upper Pond waters remained high and muddied after the storm for days while the lower pond waters returned to normal height quickly. Virtually all the damage to property during the storm was to the shoreline of the Upper Pond. The debris dumped into Upper Pond never had a chance to properly evacuate from the lake because the County 7 dam blocked it. Lincoln Pond took a catastrophic hit to its viability with severe silting.

The Lincoln Pond that is enjoyed by so many and provides significant tax revenues to the Town of Elizabethtown, the Elizabethtown-Lewis School District and Essex County is in severe jeopardy. The residents of Lincoln Pond pay more in taxes to the Town and ELCS than any business and receive virtually no services. If the lake fails, the value of the homes will fall and the tax base will decrease – dramatically.

The County 7 Dam is killing Lincoln Pond and Essex County has the responsibility to correct it. They built it. It was their action to fill in Lincoln Pond and place the concrete culvert that is choking Lincoln Pond. The NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) needs to inspect that culvert to see if it is even legal to carry the loads that course over it. The DEC and the APA also have issue here to see that Lincoln Pond remains viable and to determine if illegal fill was used and/or if the body of water was filled illegally for the roadway. Essex County has to properly restore the flow of waters between Upper and Lower Ponds and to place a proper roadway allowing the free flow of water and water craft. Save Lincoln Pond. Essex County, remove that dam bridge from County7 and place a proper bridge.

Peter Zegarelli

Lincoln Pond

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