Some Cortlandt residents need to fix deteriorated dam deemed 'high hazard' to human life
Recently, about 150 homeowners in the town of Cortlandt who live in the Westchester Lake subdivision got a letter explaining that the almost-century old dam that created the lake, is deteriorated to the point it is now a danger to human life.
In December, the state Department of Environmental Conservation did an inspection and found the dam is a "high hazard" and that "the loss of human life or widespread economic loss is likely."
In other words, they need to do something fast. But in this unusual case, the homeowners own the dam.
The town held a meeting Tuesday night to look at options, which are to look for grants to pay for the fix, potentially give the dam to the town, but allow the town to turn the lake into a public park.
The residents have to do something because the DEC says if it has to, it will step in and drain the lake and turn the area into a wetland or marsh to prevent catastrophe - something town leaders say they won't let happen.
The town decided Tuesday to bring in an engineering firm to see what it would take to fix the problem.
A study done four years ago found it could cost up to $3 million to fix the dam. It is likely the problem isn't any cheaper today.