HIGH AND DRY

Lake Nancy res­i­dents won­der where the wa­ter went

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Post ppost@dig­i­tal­first­media.com @paul­v­post on Twit­ter

PROV­I­DENCE, N.Y. » Folks around Lake Nancy can iden­tify with Moses when he crossed the Red Sea.

Their prop­er­ties now look out on muddy flats re­sem­bling a bar­ren moon­scape, after wa­ter was drained away.

The re­cent draw­down was needed be­cause of re­pair work be­ing done around a dam, built around 1910 and re­placed in 1976, which makes the lake pos­si­ble.

“I got there and was com­pletely dumb­founded,” said Carolyn Mar­can­to­nio of Glens Falls, who owns a camp on Lake Nancy. “What hap­pened to the lake? It’s crazy. It’s the most bizarre thing to have a lake with no wa­ter in it.”

Lake Nancy, off Wi­ley­town Road, is in the town of Prov­i­dence, south­west of Lake Des­o­la­tion. About 115 fam­i­lies own prop­erty there in­clud­ing many sum­mer camps. The large body of wa­ter is a pop­u­lar source of recre­ation for boaters and an­glers.

The lake is owned by the town and man­aged by the Lake Nancy Park District, com­prised of lo­cal res­i­dents.

On Sept. 5, the day after La­bor Day, a nearly three­inch wide whirlpool was spot­ted near a dam at the lake’s out­let, which feeds into Cad­man Creek.

Of­fi­cials con­tacted the Latham-based en­gi­neer­ing firm, CT Male As­so­ci­ates, and wa­ter was low­ered, with state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion ap­proval, so two holes could be re­paired be­tween the con­crete dam and an ad­ja­cent gate­house.

How­ever, the prob­lems weren’t over.

Soon after, more sig­nif­i­cant seep­age was de­tected in an earthen em­bank­ment on the op­po­site side of the con­crete dam. This, too, was fixed, but of­fi­cials still no­ticed wa­ter ex­it­ing the dam area where it’s not sup­posed to.

It’s now be­lieved the latest source of trou­ble has been pin­pointed, and plans call for re­pairs so the lake can be­gin re­fill­ing and re­turn to nor­mal lev­els next spring, be­fore the sum­mer va­ca­tion sea­son.

Work is be­ing done by the Gan­sevoort-based firm, Grout Tech Saratoga.

“We should be good after next week,” said Richard Wake­man, CT Male vice pres­i­dent-civil en­gi­neer­ing. “I’m con­fi­dent that we’ve iden­ti­fied the leaks.”

Leaks haven’t oc­curred in the con­crete dam it­self, only in spots near it, so a new dam isn’t needed, said Ger­ard McKenna, Park District co-founder.

McKenna said the fi­nal re­pair bill will likely come to more than $100,000. The ex­pense is shared by res­i­dents who live around the lake and com­prise the Park District, a spe­cial tax­ing en­tity cre­ated in 1976 when the latest dam was built.

Tax bills vary de­pend­ing on each prop­erty’s as­sessed value. The av­er­age prop­erty owner can ex­pect to pay a few hun­dred dol­lars for each of the next sev­eral years to cover the cost of re­pairs, McKenna said.

When the Park District was cre­ated, prop­erty own­ers were taxed each year and money was set aside for re­pairs as needed. But state of­fi­cials said this wasn’t le­gal, so taxes aren’t col­lected un­less a re­pair project takes place, such as this year’s, McKenna said.

Prop­erty own­ers were no­ti­fied about the lake draw­down, but some sea­sonal res­i­dents or peo­ple who only visit oc­ca­sion­ally, might not have known about it, he said.

McKenna said the first dam, which cre­ated Lake Nancy, was built in the early 20th cen­tury to sup­ply elec­tric­ity for a nearby sana­to­rium run by Saratoga County for tu­ber­cu­lo­sis pa­tients.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Docks at Lake Nancy have been left high and dry fol­low­ing a wa­ter drawn­down ne­ces­si­tated by re­pairs around a dam.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Wa­ter has been drawn down at Lake Nancy in Prov­i­dence. Wa­ter lev­els nor­mally reach the tree line at right.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

An aerial view of Lake Nancy in Prov­i­dence. Wa­ter ex­it­ing the lake flows into Cad­man Creek and even­tu­ally reaches the Great Sa­can­daga Lake in Broad­al­bin.

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