Collins Urges Slaughter to Support Amendment Easing Financial Burden on Shoreline Owners
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today sent a letter to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) urging her to support an amendment to the FY18 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill that would provide much needed relief to property owners, businesses, and municipalities on the Lake Ontario shoreline. Submitted in March of this year, the amendment from Congressman John Katko (NY-24) and Congressman Collins would direct the International Joint Commission (IJC) to compensate for damages caused by Plan 2014 using the panel’s existing funding.
“It is time the IJC paid-up and compensated our constituents for the irreplaceable damages that are directly related to Plan 2014,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “This is the type of situation where we need to look past party lines and work together to do what is best for Western New York taxpayers, and that is making sure they can recover from this mess and to protect them from future devastation.”
Plan 2014 is the IJC’s plan to regulate the water levels in Lake Ontario creating higher-highs and lower-lows and at a more frequent pace. Lake Ontario’s current water levels are higher than they have been in over a century and experts predict it will be months until the levels drop. Increased water levels have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to homeowners and Governor Cuomo has joined Congressman Collins in calling for the IJC to renegotiate.
A June 2014 report from the IJC stated that the average annual damages to the Lake Ontario coastal development would be larger under Plan 2014 than the previous plan, 1958DD. The report continued to explain that the average increase in damage is estimated at $2 million, which has already been exceeded. Congresswoman Slaughter’s district has the largest area of projected damage with constituents facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in harm to their homes.
“I’m urging the Congresswoman to support this amendment, helping those residents affected by bad decisions by the bureaucracy,” Collins said. “This plan is a bad deal for New York and I hope Congresswoman Slaughter will join in these efforts. We need to work cooperatively to stop this plan and get the people of Western New York the compensation they deserve.”
The original letter sent to the Committee on Appropriations from Collins and Katko can be found here. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) sent a letter to the Committee on Appropriations in support of the amendment and issued a press release on the subject. Monroe County Executive, Cheryl Dinolfo, sent a letter to Commissioner Bouchard regarding shoreline property owner compensation.