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If anyone is thinking that leaving unsafe Erie Canal embankment dams UNREPAIRED in their own communities for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to see how a few local communities FAILED to see the signs of danger and chose to fight against public safety programs aimed at fixing an aging Erie Canal.

Worth a read, especially if you aren't sure about the facts regarding Erie Canal Embankment work.'t-want-to-face/
Probably one of the last posts regarding the safety of Perinton's Erie Canal Neighbors that I will be making. The Erie Canal safety message is never going to be heard there, because it doesn't sit well with local "management" there. And I have learned that if management doesn't listen, there's no sense talking or trying to explain a problem or seek a solution.

I've finally come to realize that this communication issue isn't with a Facebook group in Perinton fighting against Erie Canal safety repairs, though they have done a good job at being a "thorn in the side" of the New York State Canal Corporation. No the idea of this group believing they could stop a public safety program, being run by two NY agencies tasked with the job of  protecting NY citizens and keeping them safe, was laughable at best, but a rather sad indictment of the community that supported them.

This Facebook group is dying away, along with the thought that fighting against a Public Safety Program was ever a good idea in the first place.

The real communication problem & total lack of understanding of these Canal Embankment safety problems, lies with the LEADERSHIP of the Town of Perinton and those other towns who just didn't like being the center of attention of this NYSCC Vegetation Management Program. It's the fault of Pittsford, Perinton & Fairport government officials who were stunned when the Canal Corporation made them the CENTERPIECE of their Public Safety efforts to fix unsafe canal embankments across the State. When they saw their community name plastered all over the FIRST presentation of the Vegetation Management Program, they all tweaked and said "Not us, not our community, it's all lies".

Let's go back to the "roots" of this Canal Corporation embankment safety work, the Vegetation Management Program. Here's parts of the Presentation that was given to residents of Pittsford & Perinton in Late 2017... and note who the INTENDED audience has always been. I was at this meeting and spoke up for Erie Canal Neighbor safety, and also to support the program. Maybe the Engineer in me saw the folly of fighting AGAINST public safety a bit quicker than most, it's just something you don't do.

You can view the original presentation on the Canal Corporation website.

Many have forgotten how all of this started...

After talking about what happens in the event of a canal embankment failure, and also showing the last one in the modern time of the canal, the NYS Canal Corporation gave a direct notice to Perinton & Pittsford about the danger in their own community. Look at these slides and pictures.

Take a look at where this flood hazard danger is... almost 1/2 of the Town of Perinton, including Brentwood & Crystal Springs neighborhoods. There's an elementary school in the possible flood path, and all that folks in Perinton are concerned about seems to be the ravings of a Facebook group saying "everything is fine, no danger here". Once again it's seems like the messenger did their job, but the people who heard the message just wanted "blood", because they didn't like what was being said about "their towns & villages".

Sadly this presentation was not received the way it should have been by the local governments, or the citizens they serve. So what did the Canal Corporation do? Did they quit and say "oh well we tried to save them"? Nope, they tried to warn the local Perinton community with a video of this embankment safety program on YouTube. That also seemed to miss it's mark as the community & residents are still answering Town Of Perinton survey questions about continuing their "fight against canal safety"

Maybe want to review that video again Perinton...

After all the DANGER hasn't gone away just because of a Facebook group or the denial of your Town Leaders

Here's a last slide mix from that presentation, again it couldn't get any more specific on the safety problem, the root causes, the solutions, and why it was important to the eastside communities to take note of the danger in their midst. Suggest that these communities go and take a fresh look at the whole presentation and think about the safety message the ECNA has also tried to progress.

None of this has changed the important facts:

1) The Erie Canal raised embankments are still unsafe, vegetation management is still needed.
2) The NYS Canal Corporation is still planning on getting their embankment safety work done.
3) The final touches on an Earthen Canal Embankment Clearing Guidebook is almost complete (part of their new SEQR requirements).
4) NYPA has cleared all of the Article 78 hurdles that the Towns of Pittsford & Perinton had thrown in their path as a result of their lawsuit (and maybe from listening to a Facebook group that steered them wrong about suing public safety work.)

What has changed is that maybe the NYSCC will pay closer attention to those who misrepresent the truth in the future on their new EEIP work

What hasn't changed is the simple fact that some eastside government officials will still stick their heads in the sand regarding community safety along the Erie Canal.

These "civic leaders" seem to care more about being on the right side of "social media trends" than on the right side of public safety in their own canal towns & villages.

And that issue my friends can easily be fixed the next time Perinton, Pittsford & Fairport go to the Voting Booths and make their voices heard loud and clear regarding the SAFETY of Perinton, Pittsford & all residents in between.

On that question in the Post Title...You decide, the ECNA exists only to place the information into your hands to make your own decision.

It appears that the NYS Canal Corporation has created some NEW maps for their Embankment Program that re-designate FEMA Flood Hazard Zones for much of our area... they wouldn't do that for any other reason than to use them if needed. So ask yourself why these new Flood Maps might be needed... and the answer is pretty simple.

The NYS Canal Corporation would use these in the event some people or a group or even a whole communities should decide to stand in the way of clearing these unsafe, overgrown earthen embankment dams.

They are NY State Dam Owners, they need to follow the prescribed NY State Guidelines for Dam Safety, and that means clearing their public safety issue by keeping their dams in good condition, properly inspected and up to Federal Standards.

If clearing the embankment danger is not possible for some reason, then they are required, BY LAW, to inform their adjacent neighbors, surrounding communities AND also the Federal Government agency that would need to know about unsafe dams (FEMA) in NY State. They simply have to say they have unsafe dams conditions they cannot address  and would advise neighboring communities to purchase flood insurance locally, or from the National Flood Insurance Plan with FEMA.

And FEMA would be more than happy to help citizens procure Flood Insurance as their program is having severe funding shortages now.

Go read this Forum Post for more information on how the NYS Canal Corporation is re-writing FEMA Flood Hazard Zones in Monroe County

The message has ALWAYS been about SAFETY when it comes to the NYS Canal Corporation and their work on the raised earthen embankments they own. That message is now amplified by new Owners, the New York Power Authority, who has the task to clean up the canal mess and make NY State SAFE again.

The ECNA has been following this work since it started and have tried to direct people to the information that was needed to help Erie Canal Neighbors. And we have seen a HUGE change with the Erie Canal, it's Unsafe Dams and those who would try to stop the ongoing work to repair a public safety nightmare for NYPA.

It doesn't get any plainer than this... if you want trees on Earthen Embankment Dams then you also have to be OK with paying for FLOOD INSURANCE that was never required before!!! It's up to each of you as neighbors, and community members to decide if fighting safety is worth the cost to your pocketbook.

Is this easy enough for all of the NEIGHBORS along the Erie Canal to understand?

Here's the current FEMA Flood Map for Brockport NY 14420 from 2008

And here's the NEW FEMA Flood Hazard Map that the NYS Canal Corporation has created for their Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) in 2018

And here is the same information for zipcode 14450, which is Perinton & Fairport on the Eastside, where the fight against Canal Safety is raging still.

FEMA Flood Hazard Zones for 14450 - 2008

FEMA Flood Hazard Zones for 14450 - 2018

And for those who don't understand why all this is important.. here's the Flood Insurance Zone Requirements

Here's some helpful links:

Maybe the best explanation I can offer, and one that should make many in Perinton & Fairport stand up and take note can be covered in TWO MAPS.

Brian Stratton's visit isn't coincidence here, he's been trying to explain SAFETY to this community, and especially to a Facebook group that has been fighting AGAINST fixing a public safety issues along the canal for almost 3 years now. While some may think this canal embankment work is about trees, it is not, it's about public safety to protect canal community,. people lives &  our property... nothing more.

And to show that the safety issue is REAL, Mr. Stratton can show two maps to the Village & Town Leaders. Both are FEMA Flood Zone Maps that show where people are safe and also where they might be in danger.

The first one is the 2008 FEMA Map, it is below and the one used now. You can check these out yourself using the links below

And here's the SECOND MAP, it's  the NEW Canal Corporation Flood Maps from 2018, that could easily become the ones used by FEMA if unsafe Earthen Dams are allowed to remain in and around Erie Canal communities.

So while some local trail users maybe whining about shade & oxygen loss with the clearing of unsafe dams, remember that those people are also saying they will accept the fact that many in our community will be forced to pay more for mandatory flood insurance as a result of their "blind ambition".

These Facebook Stop the Canal Clear-cut leaders & members may feel they are "safe" themselves, but the maps shown tell the truth... everyone in Perinton & Fairport is in DANGER of MANDATORY FLOOD INSURANCE if they continue to fight against a Canal Safety Program

Or perhaps this group & it's membership really don't care at all about the plight of their neighbors or the cost to the community at large. After all... it's a Facebook group, where the smarter people in this world have come to realize that many things posted on that website should also come with this understanding:

What's posted on Facebook should also include this simple disclaimer: "Remember, it's ALL about ME, folks!

I find it incredible that these few people are very ready to get the taxpayers (us) to spend money on this nonsense, and fight a safety project.  They managed to persuade one town supervisor to get involved, and he disappeared rather hurriedly. It would appear our new town supervisor has a more reserved attitude thankfully.

We've spent enough money on this, about $50,000 on legal fees for the towns, and I hate to think of the millions it's cost the NYPA in lost time and unnecessary SEQR surveys, engineer reports etc. etc.

Messrs Agte & Maier seem to forget that their little courtroom 'win' was not really a win, because all they did was delay the work, waiting for a SEQR report, which has now been completed. So the stage is set for the final work which is to turn these dangerous dams (not my words - see the Rizzo Engineering reports) into a safe and easily inspected structure. Something that is currently sadly lacking currently.
I guess they all went to a meeting!   Sounds like Mr Stratton attended, and the new town Supervisor is considered 'less than lukewarm' to the  STCC.

Mike, Are you sure about this? I checked and it looks like he still can't see what's being posted about his own comments.

(Attachment Link)

And still the group persists to twist the truth hoping to sway the public to believe their rant...

I had another look, and I think you're right! 
Like we have stated so many times before, this groups grasp of the truth is flimsy at best.

Here we see the group is now back to the Canal being a "natural amenity". But note how "happy" they are and no criticism of the New York State Canal Corporation spending "tax-payer" dollars, when it benefits Ms. Maier's own Village of Fairport.

It's not a river, it's not a natural embankment holding back all that water, it's a man-made Canal. and a waterway that is currently unsafe and is endangering many communities it passes through, as long as it's filled with water. But that doesn't sit well with a group that totally denies the truth about how "natural" the canal is.

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