DEC accepts new Tillson Lake dam report

By Connor Linskey
Posted 10/23/19

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that they have accepted the new Tillson Lake dam report prepared by Schnabel Engineering.

DEC reviewed four design concepts to repair …

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DEC accepts new Tillson Lake dam report

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The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that they have accepted the new Tillson Lake dam report prepared by Schnabel Engineering.

DEC reviewed four design concepts to repair the Tillson Lake Dam. Three of the design concepts entailed repairing and upgrading the dam, while the last option called for decommissioning the dam. They advised the state parks that all four concepts would be protective of public safety and the environment. Once the design is selected, DEC will review the selected design proposal to ensure that proposed repairs meet state dam safety records.

The cost of repairing the dam is now $3 million; less than half the initial estimate. New York State Parks informed Friends of Tillson Lake that they are looking to fix the dam. They are working with politicians to raise money to repair it. Friends of Tillson Lake also met with Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and his senior staff. Then Ryan sent a strong letter of support to New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid and Property in the Possession of Contractors President David Mortimer, urging them to make funding the preservation of Tillson Lake a priority. Sen. Jen Metzger and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill have been instrumental in pushing to get the dam fixed.

This all began in the summer of 2018, when the Palisades Interstate Park Commission planned to drain Tillson Lake and demolish its dam because they did not have the money to repair it. This was met with displeasure from concerned citizens, Friends of Tillson Lake and state legislatures. These parties have worked hard to try and save Tillson Lake.

Friends of Tillson Lake continue their efforts to make saving Tillson Lake a reality. They keep sending letters and postcards to elected officials and park executives. They also write to the local press and raise money. The group motivates others to get involved and donate funds.

Friends of Tillson Lake will hold their next fundraising event on Nov. 3 at The Greenhouses on 2187 Bruynswick Road in Wallkill. The event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets for adults cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Children’s tickets cost only $7. Tickets can be ordered via info@savetillsonlake.org or purchased on savetillsonlake.org. There will be food, live music and a silent auction.

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