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Lawsuit, rally planned for people in Greece lakeshore communities

Lake lawsuit in Greece.jpg
On Thursday, July 11, 2019, members of several neighborhood associations gathered on Old Edgemere Drive in Greece to declare their intention to fight against the controversial Plan 2014 being upheld by the International Joint Commission. (WHAM photo)

Greece, N.Y. (WHAM) - People who live along the Lake Ontario shoreline announced Thursday they plan to take legal action against the officials who regulate the lake levels.

Members of several neighborhood associations gathered on Old Edgemere Drive in Greece to declare their intention to fight against the controversial Plan 2014 being upheld by the International Joint Commission.

A few days ago, high winds caused more flooding conditions in neighborhoods along the lake. The return of the floodwaters has been an extension of severe flooding back in May, which comes two years after flooding in 2017.

Currently, the IJC is immune from legal action. However, the group gathered Thursday to call on President Donald Trump to change the federal statute that protects the governing body from being sued. In the meantime, they do plan to sue the entities that helped advice the IJC, who created Plan 2014.

"No organization with the power to destroy our homes, properties, and businesses should be above the law," said Doug Dobson, president of the Crescent Beach Neighborhood Association. "We are requesting Trump create a new executive order that specifically states the IJC and its subsidiary, International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Control Board, are not exempt from lawsuits and should be held accountable for their actions & negligence."

Suzanne Albright is one of the neighbors calling for action. Her Old Edgemere Drive home has been damaged by high water levels.

"We don't need to be building walls to protect us from a lake level of 255 feet," she said. "Nobody has the amount of money or the ability to do that. It's impossible. The answer is simple: Continue to lower the lake level."

The IJC has said in previous meetings they are holding to Plan 2014. Leaders said they are not accepting that and are prepared for fight back.

"No organization with the power to destroy our homes and businesses should be above the law," said Dobson.

Albright says it's a fight they have to win.

"There is no other solution," she said. "Lower the lake level, period."

A rally is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 20 at the Greece Community Center on Vince Tofany Boulevard. Hundreds are expected to be in attendance - including the local neighborhood leaders.

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