Senate Okays Canadarago Lake Bill

James L. Seward

April 25, 2007

The state senate approved legislation today to allow three towns in Otsego County to create a Canadarago Lake protection and improvement district.

Senate bill 2006, filed at the request of the Towns of Exeter, Otsego and Richfield, authorizes the towns to create a self-governing lake district to include the real property adjacent to Canadarago Lake. The district is to be created like any other improvement districts authorized in town law, in which only those benefitted by an improvement support it.

"For a number of years, the lake and adjacent properties have been affected by flooding, and it was worsened by last year's June 27 flood. There is simply no way short of a special district to address concerns that are peculiar only to the lake and lake properties," Seward said. "This approach, requested by the towns, offers local control and representation of property owners."

The measure creates a legal mechanism that authorizes the district to raise and expend funds for the lake’s maintenance and improvements; accept state and federal grants, and maintain the dam.

Seward previously obtained more than $140,000 in state grants to assist the towns in handling flooding problems at the lake. The funding would be available to the district once it is established.

The measure is pending in the assembly.