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Dinolfo Pursues Relief For Landowners From IJC

Dinolfo Pursues Relief For Landowners From IJC

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo requested that the International Joint Commission live up to its duty to provide compensation for riparian land owners along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and Plan 2014 both reference to protection of shoreline interests. Dinolfo’s letter requests a meeting with the IJC to discuss compensation for shoreline owners and, barring that, to waive any claims of immunity in order to allow actions to be pursued in Federal Court where both sides can argue their case in an impartial forum.
“While the Treaty that created the IJC and Plan 2014 both reference protection for shoreline interests, the failure to honor that obligation has become patently obvious to residents along the southern shore of Lake Ontario,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “I am asking to meet with the IJC and that they immediately rectify the situation by providing compensation for residents and businesses impacted by the high levels in Lake Ontario or to waive any claims of immunity so that we can take our case to Federal court.”

Additionally, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo announced that she would be traveling to Washington, D.C. on June 27th to meet with federal representatives and policymakers in order to pursue federal funding and action to reimburse residents and businesses impacted by the high levels in Lake Ontario. She will also advocate for closer monitoring and active management of lake levels to prevent historic high waters in the future and for the creation of physical barriers to mitigate the effects of high water and wave action.

“We need our Federal representatives to come together and address the ongoing damage being done to property owners along the shores of Lake Ontario,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “I am looking forward to meeting with our representatives in Washington to bring about solutions for the people of Monroe County. I am urging all parties to put pressure on the United States’ appointees on the board to act in the interests of residents and businesses along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.”

For the past several months, Monroe County, through the Office of Emergency Management, Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Services, has worked with Town and State partners to respond to area flooding that has significantly impacted residents, businesses and public infrastructure. Through armoring and clearing of roadways, sharing of large-capacity pumps or coordinating sandbag distribution, Monroe County has been at the center of this response effort since the inception of this long-term event.

According to the June 2017 U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ monthly bulletin of lake levels for the Great Lakes, the lake levels will continue at above average levels until the end of the year. Monroe County will be under a flood watch on Wednesday. This additional flooding will cause further damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. This is not an isolated event and needs to be addressed.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo continues to seek additional funds from the State of New York and, in the closing days of the Legislative session, urges members of the Senate and Assembly to reconcile competing bills which provide relief to shoreline property owners and pass a meaningful bill that will assist with repairing the devastating damage that has occurred along the shoreline.

Download IJCLetter (pdf, 413.9k, 2 pages)