The rebirth of a community treasure

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    SPARTA-Seneca Lake may not be a pretty sight right now with overgrown brush covering the area that once was the community's lake, but come next year children may be skating and having some winter fun on it. For the past two years, the area residents have overcome bureaucratic and financial hurdles to rebuild the lake at the center of their community. The dam forming the 18-acre lake collapsed in the summer of 2000 after heavy torrential rains dumped several inches of water in a matter of hours. Since then, the community has rallied to reestablish the lake and now they are just weeks away from their goal. According to Bob Sheridan, president of the facing. The only exception to the new guidelines will be basins that collect larger amounts of water, where installing the new narrow opening structures could cause flooding. In addition to the new basins, the water collection points will include new style inlets. At a cost of $400 a piece, it will eventually cost over a million dollars to replace all of the older style basins. "When we have to change them (the basins) out, we're sometimes taking a perfectly good frame and grate out and replacing it," said Ryan. Within the next five years, all catch basins, whether they are the new style structures or not, will need to be labeled with a small disk warning residents not to dispose of any materials by dumping it inside the basin. "It will alert people to keep the basins clean," said Ryan. "Some people take motor oil and pour it in because they think it's a sewer. That's a real no no." According to Ryan, Sparta will receive some $12,000 to install the new warning disks. However, the municipality will not be reimbursed for the money it will cost in man hours, equipment, and gas to send a crew to epoxy the disks on the basins. "Protecting the environment is a good thing," said Ryan about the new state regulations. "However, it's unfortunate that the state does not provide the funding, and it ultimately ends up being a burden paid by the municipality and local tax payers."