In response to articles published in Lohud and Black Westchester, Mount Vernon City Council Candidate, Lauren Carter, visited the Lake Isle Dam to see first hand state of the dam and potential risks of its failure, Saturday, January 2nd.
“I visited the Lake Isle Dam to get first-hand knowledge about the potential catastrophe that could hit Mount Vernon,” Ms Carter shares with Black Westchester.
“After reading published reports and the damn safety inspection report submitted to the city of New Rochelle, and based on maintenance that has been conducted so far or the lack thereof, I believe the dam should be drained to eliminate a potential disaster.”
The Lake Isle Dam is a human-made structure erected in 1894 to create a drinking water reservoir for New Rochelle residents. Located in Eastchester, New York, the dam has outlived its original use. It now serves the recreational needs of wealthy Eastchester, New Rochelle, and Scarsdale residents who live on its perimeter. For the last 40-years, the dam has had little maintenance, and experts cite it as unsound with the potential for causing loss of life. At issue is the financial cost for either draining the dam ($3 million) or repairing it ($20 million). Neither the property owners who enjoy its use nor the towns within which the dam lie want to pay. They want to limit their financial support for the repair and maintenance as they look for help from the county, state, and federal governments.
While there are disagreements over who owns the dam, 190 million gallons of water could spill onto the Hutchinson River Parkway into Mount Vernon and other areas if the dam fails.
Three proposals that range from $3 million to $20 million dollars have been put forward to address the impacts of a dam failure. “Rather than repair the dam or even bring it up to 21 century engineering standards, it is probably best to drain the dam”, said Carter. “Even if the dam is brought up to current standards, regular inspections and maintenance would have to continue and if it has not been done in over 40 years, I don’t think it will be done in the next 40 years. Therefore, rather than face this problem again, it’s best to eliminate it”.
Lauren Carter is asking residents in all communities that are in the flood emergency inundation area to call their state, county, and local officials to act!
Ms. Carter officially launched her campaign for Mount Vernon City Council, Thursday, November 19th on the steps of City Hall. She enters what has the potential to be a crowded field of candidates for three council seats currently held by Councilmembers Marcus Griffith, Delia Farquharson and Janice Duarte. Councilman Farquharson announced her run for re-election on Facebook, Councilwoman Duarte has not yet announced her plans.
Others who have announced their intention to run in what has the potential to be a crowded field of candidates, include former city Councilman André Wallace, who briefly served as mayor shortly, after Richard Thomas pled guilty to fourth-degree attempted grand larceny and second-degree offering a false statement for filing; and Cathlin Gleason, a member of the Mount Vernon library board, who confirmed with Black Westchester she is running although she has not made her official announcement yet.