Perinton Embankment Dam Discussion > Perinton Embankment Dam Discussion

Pittsford & Perinton Passed By -- Residents don't get to input their views.


Michael Caswell:
On Tuesday, NYPA & the NYCC held a Re-imagine the Canal public ideas meeting for residents of the greater Rochester area at Brockport College. Many people from Brockport, Holley, and areas where the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) dams have been cleared of dangerous vegetation and restored to a new safe condition, were in attendance. Folks can now obtain a clear picture of its potential uses.

The meeting was set up with separate discussion tables, topics relating to making the canal more useful to residents and visitors. There were tables for Water & Land based activities, Historical Ideas and Business Development. The Irrigation/Farming and Environmental tables were very popular and brimming with new ideas.

The meeting was NOT about trees or the Embankment Integrity work, yet a self-proclaimed "environment group" from Fairport, planted members at each table and attempted to steer discussions to Keeping Trees on Embankment Dams east of Rochester through Pittsford & Fairport. Fortunately those Fairport instigators were shut down immediately as most tables stayed on topics to improve the canal system.

According to surveys the ECNA has done, few, if any, people see the value in keeping the canal the way it is today... unsafe for neighbors & losing money for all New Yorkers.

The ‘trees group’ claimed to be the only representatives at the meeting from Perinton and wondered why no invitations, or meetings have been planned for Brighton, Pittsford and Perinton. A senior NYPA official said that it was futile engaging with them. Because of overall hostility  from this group and town supervisors, who are not acknowledging the safety issues, they are not getting a Re-imagine Meeting. The group claims to have 600 members they represent who want unsafe trees left on unsafe embankments in our towns, but their number is greatly exaggerated. Numerous people have told us they no longer support this group.

Only ten or so members are active on their Facebook page, so ‘unsubscribing’ would be the right thing for most to do, but folks can't be the group goes on with their mis-informed crusade because of their ex-member’s  silence.
If the community can't imagine why the canal needs to be safer, they certainly don't belong at a meeting trying to re-imagine its future.

Take a look at the web pages of Perinton, Pittsford and Brighton, and see if you can find any updates on the progress NYPA has made on this important safety work. See if you can find any input from town supervisors in Pittsford and Brighton about public safety around the canal as they have become very quiet! Maybe they should step up for and rally for safety now?

Watch the web page forum for updates on the Re-imagine progress. There were lots of really good ideas being floated. Change is in the air!!-extra!-canal-corporation-releases-new-website-for-embankment-safety-progr/

And here, you can submit your ideas.
7 hr ago · 44 neighborhoods in Crime & Safety

Doug K:
Sadly it appears the Town of Perinton & Village of Fairport have let the wrong voices speak for them when it comes to Erie Canal Safety.

Worse yet... they continue to do so even today.

The truth about the Reimagine Meeting attendance is NOT reflected accurately in the statement made in the post above. Many introductions were made at the Brockport meeting leaders identifying both Town & Village leaders there to help the Reimagine effort. There were Town Officials from the western section of the Canal System, but also some county & town officials that were from areas further east of Pittsford, Brighton & Fairport. Those community leaders saw the same public message as those in Monroe County, so why didn't more from our area show up?

Seems like an easy answer... either they were too busy to attend, weren't concerned about improving the Canal System or ashamed of past performance on the topic of Erie Canal Safety.

Here's another post from those who say they are representing the "Voice of Perinton & Fairport", it pretty much speaks for itself...

Mind-numbing? Like a group fighting a safety project behind the shield of "fake environmental" concerns?

This opposition group, operating out of Fairport by the way, has tried saying the NY Canal Embankment Program is about everything BUT safety since their inception. First this Facebook group said the Canal Corp was clearing the embankments to get "rich" off the tree harvest... proven wrong. Next they claimed the unsafe canal embankments were actually levees and totally denied any safety issue existed. Then they tried to say it was about saving the trees and the oxygen they give us... that didn't work either.

They switched up, saying animals needed tree-lined banks to live, that worked until the woodchucks created unsafe burrows in Fairport. Then they moved to protecting shade, saying shade was "cool". Well that was debunked by noting most of the canal runs East to West in full sun.

Now this group is saying that the Canal shouldn't be focused just on one topic only, which is actually Dam Safety in our Communities

Has anyone else missed what's wrong with all of this?

Not once has the group fighting to keep trees, ever mentioned the people in danger from unsafe dams. They have never talked about safety of the communities & neighbors living below unsafe canal embankments, EXCEPT to deny there is a safety issue altogether. They have never understood the fundamental issues with an aging Canal System, why?

It's pretty simple... talking about safety means their other arguments are not very important in comparison... very obvious to all.

Once again the group has missed the point with the Reimagine the Canals effort. The fact is that Perinton & Fairport will NEVER be asked for their ideas or opinion on how to make the Canal better because Perinton & Fairport Town Leaders backed a group that has spoken for them already, they said loud & clear that they don't want a safer Erie Canal, let alone a better one.

Maybe it's time for the rest of Fairport to take a stand and chose their leadership more wisely... the Canal Earthen Embankment Integrity Program has given you all that chance... speak up...silence those who do NOT understand the issues or want positive change in our city.

Doug K:
While some people who attended the Reimagine the Canals Workshop Meeting in Brockport were discussing how not to change the Erie Canal Embankments, the ECNA was there to make sure the voice of Erie Canal Neighbors was heard when it comes to changes that affect the privacy of those living closest to the waterway.

We wanted to make sure that the people creating new ideas remembered that many homeowners living along the canal have recently undergone a huge transition of their properties & privacy. And all of us should not lose sight of the fact that ideas for improving the Canal System should try to insure these neighbors don't lose even more.


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