Author Topic: Not all neighbors are treated alike on the Erie Canal  (Read 104 times)

Doug K

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Not all neighbors are treated alike on the Erie Canal
« on: October 01, 2019, 10:50:10 am »
After two years of trying to deal with the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), and its parent company, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), its finally hit home that not all "Erie Canal Neighbor's" are alike. It's hard to pin down either the NYSCC or NYPA on which neighbor should be heard when it comes to Erie Canal safety or Embankment Dam repair.

Regarding the EERP Restoration, we have no answer from NYSCC about when they will provide some privacy to those people who have lost it when the western end of the NYS Canal System was remediated.

Many folks in Perinton are still living with Unsafe Dams in their backyards, and they are ignorant on the new Embankment Integrity Program.

How did  the CANAL CORPORATION create a civil war over safety?

They divided their neighbors into two groups -

The  BELOW GROUP, those living BELOW the canal waterline
The ABOVE GROUP, those living above the canal waterline.

They stated The BELOW group were actually living below unsafe embankment dams, and they needed repair and remediation immediately. They were at risk of flood, which would result in loss of life & property. They were talking about OUR lives & OUR property.

The other group of Neighbors are those living ABOVE the waterline, not in danger of floods or unsafe dams... but might see the changes needed to correct the safety issues. These people were invited in to get the same message as property owners living in danger, why.. I don't know.

Some people listened to the Canal's Safety Message, some people did not.

Some people who listened, who live in no danger, and all in the ABOVE group, changed the conversation from what was clearly public safety to "the environment & shade”.

They believed there wasn't a safety issue, despite Engineers reports (and even their own expert witnesses) saying the opposite, and their ignorance of the Canal safety issue showed.

Well, the conversation was changed, and the NY State Canal Corporation didn't have to talk about all the NEGATIVE IMPACTS that their unsafe Erie Canal Dams might cause and what fixing them might cost its neighbors.

Some home owners might lose property value as a result of their dam safety project.
Is Flood Insurance a requirement during Dam Rehabilitation & who pays for that.
They avoided addressing individual issues neighbor's that may have grievances as a result of their safety work along the canal.
No discussion on safety at all beyond the statement that Erie Canal Embankments are unsafe.

Nope, instead the NY Canal Corporation willingly let a small group of well-meaning citizen's, change the narrative to anything they wanted to; as long as it wasn't safety of the public and those unsafe dams they owned. Doesn't this seem odd?

Sure, you want to talk about "shade"...that works. Oxygen that trees give off, sure.. why not? You want to say the Canal Corporation is selling trees and that safety is a hoax... fine. The NYS Canal leadership loved the distraction from the truth as much as those who created it... pretty sad, and pretty scary all at the same time.

Many of you may be asking What's your point sir? Why does all this matter to those living directly adjacent to Erie Canal "public safety" repair zones?

Well it's quite simple... it's now become a New York State Property Disclosure nightmare for many of us Canal Neighbors

You can find information about the New York Consolidated Laws, Real Property Law - RPP § 462. Property Condition Disclosure Statement here:

Here's Page 1 of the required form

And this is one of the aspects that most homeowners will need to abide by when selling their home in New York State

So before you fill out these sections and sign your name on this need to ask yourself some questions..

What will you tell someone who wants to buy your Erie Canal Waterfront property?

What will you tell a realtor about your neighbor, the NYS Canal Corp, how they act, how they treat their neighbors?

What will you tell people who ask if that embankment dam behind or next to your house is safe?

Some of those Erie Canal Neighbors right now have only ONE thing to say... "My property is adjacent to an UNSAFE Erie Canal Earthen Embankment Dam" They live on the East side of Rochester but there are still many along the western end of the Canal System that need their unsafe embankment cleared.

Those folks can't add in to their Property Disclosure that this will all be repaired soon, or the Dam is being properly monitored for leaks. Nope... a group of "environmentalist" stopped all that from happening and the Canal Corporation is very tight-lipped on when more dams will be repaired. Proper Dam Inspection is near impossible on tree covered slopes.

Some Erie Canal Neighbors can say the DANGEROUS issues on the Embankment Dam behind our property has been repaired, their Embankment is SAFE. But of course they can't say when the NY Canal Corporation will keep their promise of RESTORATION for that embankment. The restoration plan hasn't been shared, the NY Canal Corporation asked for input to the plan but lacks in timely, meaningful "output". Right now many of us have lost all privacy in our homes, we have now become "Erie Canal Trailside Attractions".

"Please, for now, just imagine there are shrubs & trees there...maybe a few fences thrown in for good measure. Imagine if NYPA kept it's word, something that we are ALL still waiting for" That is what we can tell potential home buyers in our NYS Property Disclosure Statement

Some of us might say that NYPA and NYSCC have lied about the promised screening barrier, just to get the embankment cleared in the first place. After all we are down to the end of the conifer planting time and the projected October deadline for Privacy Screening on the Project Schedule.

Of course, NYPA & NYSCC do have their hands full these days, getting ready to put their new Embankment Integrity Program into action... question is will it be more of the same old story for other Erie Canal Neighbors? Just a hint for those with upcoming safety work... be sure you know what you are getting...and what you aren't.

As for those in the original Embankment Project, I only know what this neighbor is asking of the Canal Corporation...

Jackie Schillinger & Jeff Cohen, why won't you take a call from a homeowner who also wrote this post on the ECNA?

« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 06:09:05 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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UPDATE: October 2, 2019

The NY Canal Corporation Public Relations Team (Ms. Schillinger) has reached out this morning with an email reopening the discussions on the Earthen Embankment Restoration Project and hopefully working towards resolution of some major issues that the original Erie Canal Safety work has created for a few of it's neighbors. Hopefully there will be more action & less dialog moving forward.

The ECNA will share any Project Updates with the ECNA Community as we hear them, check back under this Forum Section. The ECNA also urges every homeowner along the Canal Embankments to reach out to these Embankment Safety Program contacts
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 11:01:59 am by Doug K »

Another Neighbor

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Thank you for the information you have been providing many of us.

Safety should be number 1, and people who lose their privacy do not feel safe anymore

Doug K

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Hello Neighbor,

If you are on the Western Section of the main Erie Canal channel, and don't have grass covered embankments in place right now, I have some advice for homeowners & residents.

If you own the embankment that needs to be cleared: Do your homework on earthen dam safety and also what you as an owner, are liable for.

If you are a homeowner who lives adjacent to a raised Earthen Embankment owned by the NYS Canal Corporation: Let these people fix this safety issue, do not stand in the way, do not think that unsafe dams are OK to have anywhere. Work with them on those other issues AFTER the fix the unsafe embankments.

If you are one of the thousands that live below these aging, unsafe embankments that were built 100 years ago, you live in a Flood Hazard Inundation Zone. Learn where the high ground is nearest you in the event the Erie Canal has a breach.

Thank you for getting involved, and good luck