GREAT SACANDAGA LAKE ASSOCIATION
Box 900, Northville, New York 12134
518.863.6848 Electronic Mail: email@example.com
Notice to Members (11-07-12)- The GSLA provides most of its membership information through an e-mail burst system. The Association provides on-going information to members on a 'flash' basis through the e-mail system because it provides a quick system of membership communication while saving membership funds which are being used to pay postage and printing expenses. The GSLA asks that if you are a member and are not currently receiving the e-mail burst messages that you contact the Association through firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your email address. Please help us so we can help you!
Prayers for Superstorm Sandy (11-07-12)- Many of the seasonal residents of the Great Sacandaga live in areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Our prayers and thoughts are for these neighbors. We will see you again on your second 'home' on the Great Sacandaga! We are thinking of you.
Permit Renewal (11-07-12)- The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District has issued a bulletin on lake access permit renewal for 2013. Please take a look at the memo on the Regulating District website.
Resumption of Marine Patrols in Fulton County (11-07-12)- The police marine patrols were suspended during the summer of 2012 in Fulton County. New York State has requested that they be resumed and has offered the county 50% aid for operating costs and State training. They have also offered to provide free boats, engines and trailers! There are still no takers! The GSLA supports safe boating on the lake through FREE boater safety classes. The GSLA would like to see the return of the marine patrol and believes it is possible if it is returned at the high use days i.e. weekends! Let us know what you think.
Batchellerville Bridge To Open (11-07-12)- The Batchellerville Bridge which has been the focus for attention on the lake for years is about to be opened. The bridge will be completed a year ahead of schedule with no additional cost to the State. Kudos to Supervisor Jean Raymond who supported the bridge construction and her community throughout the entire project.
GSLA Ballots Counted (11-07-12)- The Great Sacandaga Lake Association counted the ballots submitted to membership during the month of October. The slate of Directors was approved as was the by-law amendment which modified the manner by which the annual audit was conducted. The GSLA received suggestions on further modifications to the audit amendment and will be discussing these suggestions to determine if further modifications should be made.
GSLA Annual Membership Meeting (08-03-12)- The Great Sacandaga Lake Association will hold its annual membership meeting at the Edinburg Fire Hall on August 10, 2012 from 7-9 p.m.
The meeting will provide an overview of GSLA activities and funding; an update on Sacandaga Protection Committee activities and presentations by representatives of the NYS Department of Transportation (Batchellerville Bridge) and the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District (Lake Permits).
Refreshments will be served. Discussion and questions are welcome.
GSLA Finishes NYS Safe Boating Classes for 2012 (07-28-12) - The Great Sacandaga Lake Association in coordination with NAV-ED Services Group has concluded another season of FREE boater safety classes. Although the sessions attracted students, some of the prospective students failed to attend after reserving one of the limited seats! The GSLA Board will discuss improving the application process to ensure that all of the seats are used. Suggestions from the membership are welcome.
HRBRRD Permit Resolution Tabled (05-10-12) - At their April meeting, the Regulating District discussed a resolution to remove the prohibition regarding realignment or other modification of front lot access permit areas. The resolution, if passed, would allow the modification of the front lots if the permit holders 'reasonably agree' to the modifications.
The GSLA, the Sacandaga Protection Committee, the Batchellerville Bridge Action Committee, the Property Owners Association of Day as well as other lake community residents believed the resolution would result in arbitrary and capricious decisions which could adversely effect permits which had been in place for decades. The Regulating District tabled the resolution with no further action. We thank the Regulating District.
More information on this issue can be found in the meeting packet developed for the meeting by the Regulating District as well as the actual meeting on the video available through webcast.
Lake Water Rises! (05-10-12) - Prayers and wishes have been answered! The water level is 'slowly' rising on the lake after and during the recent storms. On May 4, 2012, we were at 762.49 and now we are looking at 764.73. We have a ways to go for a full lake by Memorial Day but the water is looking UP! Check the latest water level on our tab at the top of the page. The District engineer, Robert Foltan, predicts 767' by the end of May!
Picture Show (05-10-12) - We hope that the progress on the Batchellerville Bridge continues. It is anticipated that the project will be completed a year ahead of schedule, this fall. The Times Union published some great pictures taken in April and the Edinburg Town website has continuous pictures. Take a look and enjoy!
GSLA Water Level Projections (02-14-12) - The Lake community has been concerned about the potential impact that the low snowfall will have on eventual lake levels during the 2012 boating season. Our Water Level Committee chairman, Dave Smail, addressed the issue:
"On February 9, 2012, I spoke with Robert Foltan, Chief Engineer for the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District. He stated the Regulating District does not have a concern about the refilling of the lake by June 1st, the beginning of the boating season .... Despite the warm weather, the in-flow into the Great Sacandaga Lake and the flow on the Hudson River above the confluence of the Hudson and Sacandaga Rivers during the past several months have been above historical averages ...."
EMERGENCY RESERVOIR INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT NY-ALERT (02-14-12) - The Regulating District has signed on to NY-ALERT. The system provides the District with the ability to distribute notices on 'unusual or extreme reservoir operating conditions' when they are forecast or occurring. Take and look and sign up for notices ..... NY-ALERT.
Notice from Department of Transportation (12-24-11) - The New York State Department of Transportation issued a special advisory for traffic on the lake in the Batchellerville Bridge area. DOT advised that construction will continue during the winter months and will require open water around the bridge. The entire announcement is available on DOT ICE ANNOUNCEMENT.
Legal Update from the Great Sacandaga Protection Committee (12-07-11) - The following was received from the Sacandaga Protection Committee. We believe it important that everyone on the lake be aware of this very important issue.
"On December 2, 2011 attorneys for the Sacandaga Protection Committee (SPC) argued to preserve the Great Sacandaga Lake Permit System at oral argument before a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City.
In the case, titled Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation v. Hudson River – Black River Regulating District, the plaintiff power company sought a refund of more than $5 million in assessments paid to the regulating district plus interest. Niagara mohawk also argued that the Federal Power Act preempts virtually all of the regulating district's activities, including operation of the Great Sacandaga Lake Permit System, maintenance of the watershed, and even flood control.
Niagara Mohawk also asserted that SPC constituents should pay greater costs to the Regulating District as a beneficiary. SPC was represented at oral argument by its attorneys from Hodgson Russ LLP, with Benjamin K. Ahlstrom joining attorneys for the Regulating District in arguing against Niagara Mohawk's claim. SPC, with the Regulating District, had earlier prevailed before the Federal District Court in a decision by US District Court Judge Norman A. Mordue. It is this decision that Niagara Mohawk is appealing.
SPC has also sought permission from the New York State Supreme Court to intervene in twenty related lawsuits challenging the Regulating District's assessments of Niagara Mohawk and threatening the permit system and the region's tax base.
First Annual Great Sacandaga Protection Committee Cocktail Party (10-05-11) - The Great Sacandaga Lake Business Association (GSLBA) is sponsoring the "First Annual Redneck Cocktail Party" to benefit the Great Sacandaga Protection Committee on October 20, 2011 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Sports Island Pub. Tickets are available for $100 per couple ($125 at the door) with reservations by October 15. Information and forms are available at www.visitsacandaga.com (click on GSLBA); www.lovethesacandaga.com; or www.sacandaga.com. For questions contact: email@example.com
The Great Sacandaga Protection Committee was formed as a non-profit to preserve and protect lake rights on the Great Sacandaga. Information about the SPC, its initiatives and goals can be found on www.lovethesacandaga.com
Vote to Use Black River Funds (8-10-11) - The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District voted on August 9, 2011 to use funds from the Black River portion of their operation to pay taxes owed to Fulton County and to three lake area school districts. The vote will need to be approved by both the county and state Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi. It does not appear to resolve future tax payments.
Membership Meeting (8-10-11) - The GSLA annual membership meeting held on August 6, 2011 provided members with the latest information on the Batchllerville Bridge construction project (may be completed in 2011); the water level (the GSLA and the Regulating District are working together); and the Regulating District (Executive Director Mike Clark fielded questions and expressed his willingness to work with the lake community). If you were not in attendance, you missed a very informative and worthwhile evening. Mark your calendar now for next August!
GSLA Concludes a GREAT Season of FREE NYS Boater Safety Classes (7-26-11) - The GSLA and their training partner, NAV-ED Services Group which also offers USCG Captain courses, will finish the fourth of four FREE Boater Safety classes on August 6, 2011 in Northville. However, don't call for reservations because the class is oversubscribed similar to the other 3! The GSLA provides the free course to help families who find the average market price of $60 a course a little too much of a strain on the budget. We are happy to do it and it helps train boaters (more than 65 so far this summer) to be safe on the water. Besides, we wouldn't miss the competition between grandparents/parents and grandchildren/children on who scored better on the test!
Have a safe rest of the summer .... we will see you in class next spring.
HRBRRD Board Perspective on Changes at the Regulating District (7-25-11) - The Leader-Herald reported the changes which have been made at the Regulating District since the departure of former Executive Director Glenn LaFave. The article states that the current board reported that specific issues raised in the Inspector General Report (below) had been addressed prior to the release of the document. These include "...vehicle use, staff communication with the board, flex time and vacation buy-backs." The article link is available below.
GSLA Annual Membership Meeting (7-24-11) - As was announced in our spring newsletter, we are moving toward our annual membership meeting. Expected speakers include representatives from the Regulating District and Batchellerville Bridge Construction. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. at the Edinburg Fire Hall and the date is August 6. We had a great turnout last year, let's beat those numbers.
NYS Issues Report on Hudson River-Black River Regulating District (7-24-11) - Late last week, the NYS Inspector General issued what we fairly could categorize as an exhaustive report on former Executive Director Glenn LaFave's tenure with the Regulating District. The report provided insight into the Executive Director's relationship with staff and with the previous Regulating District Board. The GSLA has provided various news links which describe the allegations against Mr. LaFave as well as the subsequent reaction from the current HRBR Board President in his responding communication found at the end of the State report.
We recommend that everyone take the time to review both the news reports and the New York State report.
GSLA Receives Response on Advisory Council (7-24-11) - For many years, the GSLA has been asking the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District for the formation of a lake-wide advisory council. The council as proposed by the GSLA would have representation from other lake associations, elected officials and individuals. The council would provide recommendations generated by the Great Sacandaga Lake community to the Regulating District and also act as an advisory group in reviewing District initiatives prior to implementation on the lake. The focus would be on improving communication with the Regulating District on those issues which are particular to the mission of the District.
The framework for the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District Great Sacandaga Lake Advisory Council is being developed by the lake community groups and Mark Finkle who is a District Board Member who was assigned to act as a representative for the project. Mr. Finkle, who is a resident of Mayfield, volunteered for the job! Thank you, Mark. The GSLA also thanks the Regulating District for listening and acting on our request.
GSLA Seeks Additional E-Mail (7-24-11) - As everyone is aware, the cost of postage is not decreasing. A year ago, the GSLA appealed to the membership to help the Association move into the electronic age by instituting 'burst mail'. We have been using a system for more than a year and believe that the system is cost-effective and provides the immediate type of information delivery that is important for us. In addition, the system allows the Association to cut the delivery time to minutes rather than days on some of our information.
The GSLA appeals to the membership to reconsider providing electronic addresses for this distribution. Minimally, members should try the system and if unhappy, each note explains how to 'unsubscribe'! Try it, you may like it.
State Supreme Court Sides with HRBRRD (4-9-11) - The New York State Supreme Court supported the lake apportionment process developed by the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District in its levy of assessments on counties benefiting from flood control. An assessment was made on the counties to replace the funds lost after the federal Appeals Court in 2008 ruled that the hydroelectric companies would pay a reduced amount. This reduction resulted in the failure of the Regulating District to provide the property and school taxes which it owed in the lake community. There is a threatened legal appeal. The following was provided to the GSLA by the Sacandaga Express:
The Regulating District provided the text of the Supreme Court decision on their website. COURT DECISION
Update on the Proposal to Petition Federal Elected Officials for Assistance to Solve Tax Issue (3-25-11)- The Sacandaga Protection Committee (SPC) a few weeks ago (see news item listed below for March 7, 2011) announced a plan to involve federal officials in a crafting a solution to the tax dilemma facing property owners both on and off the lake in the Great Sacandaga Lake community. The LEADER-HERALD editorial speaks to this proposal.
North Shore Road Collapse Update (3-25-11) - The latest news on the road collapse indicate that it may take a month to six weeks for a repair. Please check the TIMES UNION for the entire report. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
North Shore Road Collapse (3-22-11) - GSLA members received an e-message over the weekend detailing the collapse of a portion of North Shore Road in Hadley. The Leader-Herald reported further details on March 22, 2011. Barbara Cook of the Leader-Herald reported:
"A section of North Shore Road in Hadley, which runs along the Great Sacandaga Lake, fell into the lake Friday night. The road will be closed for weeks just south of the Conklingville dam - one of two crossings for motorists on the east side of the lake. The other crossing, the aging Batchellerville Bridge in Edinburg, has alternating one-way traffic with trucks confined to a 15-ton weight limit while a new bridge is being built beside it. Lumber trucks, snowplows and garbage truck drivers have had to find other routes, according to town Supervisor Jean Raymond. One detour takes drivers around the lake, through Northville, Mayfield and Broadalbin, before getting back into Edinburg - a 50-mile detour by the time drivers reach the other side of the Conklingville dam......
Edinburg Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Seelow said fire and ambulance protection has expanded into the town of Day, covering Hadley Hill Road to the location where the washout occurred until the road is repaired. He has not been given a timeline for repairs. Carol Breen, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said officials aren't concerned about other road washouts, even though many of the lakeside roads through Edinburg, Day and Hadley are similarly designed."
The article can be found at LEADER-HERALD.
DOT OPEN WATER ADVISORY ON THE GREAT SACANDAGA
Photo provided by Carla Kolbe/For the Recorder
The Great Sacandaga Lake Association received the following open water advisories from the DOT on March 8, 2011 and March 15, 2011. The first advisory was posted on March 8 and the current one, posted on March 15, 2011.
We thank the New York State Department of Transportation for the advisory. These advisories were also sent by the GSLA to all members through GSLA e-messaging. (Members who did not receive these notices by e-message should provide their latest email address to firstname.lastname@example.org)
March 15, 2011 Advisory:
Please be advised that while the contractor continues to break up ice on the Lake in the construction area, there will no longer be either barrels or snow fencing in place on the lake surface, as conditions have rendered it impossible to safely place this guidance on the remaining thin ice/slush near the bridge.
For more information, please contact NYSDOT Engineer-in-Charge John Porter at 518-863-4977 or JPORTER@dot.state.ny.us, stop by the project field office at 92 Northville Road in Edinburg, or visit the project Web site at https://www.nysdot.gov/batchellervillebridge.
March 8, 2011 Advisory:
The New York State Department of Transportation advises that due to construction of the new Batchellerville Bridge open water will be present along the entire width of Sacandaga Lake. Existing ice will be broken so that equipment can be moved between shores. The open water conditions will exist for the duration of the winter season.
To maximize safety, orange construction barrels and reflective tape will be placed from shore to shore along the open water. Lake users should comply with posted signage and respect all barricades, fencing and other tools defining active workareas. Snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle operators should reduce speeds and use caution near the bridge.
Please bear in mind that weather conditions may limit the visibility of the signage, barrels and other guidance in place on equipment and on the ice. Avoid abrupt maneuvers near the bridge, as other vehicles may be approaching the area.
For more information, please contact NYSDOT Engineer-in-Charge John Porter at 518-863-4977 or JPORTER@dot.state.ny.us, stop by the project field office at 92 Northville Road in Edinburg, or visit the project Web site at https://www.nysdot.gov/batchellervillebridge.
Hudson River-Black River Regulating District Web Announcement (3-11-11) - The following announcement was placed on the Regulating District website. We have highlighted the section of the announcement cautioning recreational users.
REGULATING DISTRICT RESERVOIRS PREPARED FOR SPRING RUNOFF
MAYFIELD, NY and WATERTOWN, NY - The river regulating reservoirs operated by the Hudson River - Black River Regulating District have been, and are prepared to, receive runoff produced by recent rainfall and melting snow consistent with our mission to regulate the flow of the Hudson River and Black River for the purposes of flood protection and flow augmentation.
Precipitation received during the past 30 hours, when combined with melting snow, has produced small increases in reservoir elevations. Reservoir elevation increases of 1.4, 2.1, and 1.6 feet have occurred at Great Sacandaga Lake, Indian Lake, and Stillwater Reservoir, respectively, since March 5.
Winter-time drawn of the state’s river regulating reservoirs has occurred on schedule and as planned through March 5. The Great Sacandaga Lake was lowered according to the Upper Hudson/Sacandaga River Offer of Settlement and reached a minimum elevation of 749.07 feet on March 5, consistent with the Offer of Settlement elevation target curve. The Stillwater Reservoir was lowered to an elevation of 1665.50 feet by March 5, consistent with its operating plan.
* * * * *
The Hudson River - Black River Regulating District reminds all recreational users of the Great Sacandaga Lake, Indian Lake, Stillwater, and Fulton Chain of Lakes reservoirs to use caution on or about the reservoir as the water elevation fluctuates and ice cover shifts. Changes in ice surfaces will occur as a result of increased inflow and water releases during the next month.
GSLA NYS Safe Boating Classes (3.06.11) - The FREE NYS Safe Boating Classes offered by the GSLA for Summer, 2010 were very busy! Members will receive the 2011 schedule during April, 2011. The class is required for individuals between the age of 10 and 18 who are operating a motorboat without supervision as well as for everyone from age 10 interested in operating a personal watercraft.
Potential Congressional Solution to Great Sacandaga Tax Issue (3.07.11)- Over the winter, the Great Sacandaga Lake Association worked with the Great Sacandaga Protection Committee and other lake associations and groups to seek a solution to these issues. The following information was released on March 7, 2011 providing an update on the efforts.
The Leader Herald on March 7, 2011 reported: "A Fulton County Board of Supervisors committee has endorsed efforts by the nonprofit Sacandaga Protection Committee to lobby federal legislators to help find a solution to the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District's revenue problems. The Economic Development Committee action Tuesday would be subject to approval by the full board March 14. Sacandaga Protection Committee Co-Chairman Joseph Sullivan told supervisors his organization is trying to get three congressmen - U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam; U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook; and U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh - to intervene in regulating district issues."
The Leader Herald quoted Sullivan in saying that: "... taxpayers in Fulton and Saratoga counties shouldn't be burdened by the regulating district's revenue problems. We are optimistic [the congressmen] have a solution," he said. "Right now, we're just looking for a little help. This is the only reservoir in the country where the land under the water is taxed."
The entire article can be found on the Leader Herald.
The Great Sacandaga Lake Association submitted a letter of support in February stating that: "The current situation is unsustainable and devastating for the lake community. We appeal to the principal of fairness in this issue. The lake community property owners have continued to pay its fair share of property and school taxes in the spirit of the 80-year old agreement .... We respectfully ask for your help to restore the balance of shared responsibility for a reservoir which has proven an asset to hydropower generation and downriver municipalities for more than 80 years."
We do not know how the issue of assessment will be resolved and have not offered a solution. The GSLA joins with the Sacandaga Protection Committee and other lake associations and groups in the hope that our elected officials can bring this issue to a close. In the meantime, we will keep members informed and advised as to future actions.
The Sacandaga Protection Committee deserves our appreciation and support for their leadership on this issue. More information on the Protection Committee, this current initiative and member support can be found at their website.
Fulton County May be Going to Court (3.06.11) - The Recorder reported that further legal action may be taken next week to address the issue of school, property taxes and the lack of payment by the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District. It was reported that Fulton County and area school districts are awaiting $3 million in back taxes.
"Albany lawyer Peter Barber, who is handling the case, said on Friday there will be movement on the situation "within the next week. We are still trying to attempt to resolve the matter with the state before we commence with action," he said. "We want to resolve this quickly." Barber said the state is reviewing the matter internally and that attempts to get the state legislature involved have been "not very fruitful."
News from the Northville School District (3.06.11)- The Leader Herald provides a detailed account of the nature of the budget issues of the Northville School District's: "Faced with a budget gap of nearly $2 million, Northville Central School District officials are considering changes for the coming year, including potential staff cuts.
The $1.8 million gap includes a cut of 11 percent in state aid, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed state budget, as well as increases in mandated pension costs, workers' compensation costs, insurance premiums and special education expenses. Federal funding for several programs also ends with this year's budget, according to a news release from District Superintendent Kathy Dougherty.
The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District owes the school district $326,000 in property taxes. The school district is one of several entities owed taxes by the regulating district, and Dougherty hopes a lawsuit brought by Fulton County will go forward."
The article can be accessed at Leader Herald.
News from the Northville School District (3.06.11)- The Sacandaga Express on March 6, 2011 reported on the status of the budget for the Northville Schools as reported to the District in February: "During the February session, Superintendent Kathy Dougherty and Richard Timbs, the district’s project financial adviser, painted a bleak budget picture. After comparing all expenditures, revenues from every aspect of the districts many facets, he determined the district would be out of money within two years without major changes.
Timbs said the district’s combined wealth ratio rate is working directly against it. With high lake property values, the district is considered wealthy, which results in a decrease in state aid. The number of students with free and reduced lunches is an indicator of some of the local income issues, if compared to school districts downstate.
With state aid reduced, the burden falls directly on the taxpayers.
“This is not at all the fault of the district, they have done everything to save the taxpayers” Timbs said.
Timbs, who wrote his doctoral theses on school mergers, believes merging the school is only a temporary fix with no overall proof it will save anything. In five years, the money would have to be paid back.
“The numbers do not lie. You are in for tough times” he said.
The article can be viewed at Sacandaga Express.
Batchellerville Bridge Update (3.06.11)-The Times Union reported the latest progress on the Batchellerville on February 26, 2011. The newspaper reported:
"Pile driving operations are progressing from both the north and south sides of the lake," said Carol Breen, a spokeswoman for the state transportation department. The piles at piers one through four are in on the north shore and piers 11 and 12 are in on the south shore. There will be 12 piers in total. At pier 12, the piles have been filled with concrete. Breen said early next week the workers will fill pier 11. The rebar subcontractor is on site and working on fabricating rebar.
The article can be found at Times Union.
Alternate Email Address for GSLA (3.06.11) - Members having difficulty communicating with the Association using our email@example.com may use the alternate firstname.lastname@example.org Replies to notes is usually made on the msn.com account.
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