According to an article in the Jan. 10th Times Herald Record (See Article), NY Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials have warned the residents of Lake Joseph, a 240 acre non-motorboat lake south of Monticello, that they have 15 days to submit a plan to fix that dam that forms the lake, or the state may breach the dam and drain the lake. Now, before you think that the DEC is being unduly hasty, the article reports that the DEC has raised safety issues about the 220 foot long Lake Joseph dam since 1979. Phil Barry, the developer of Lake Joseph who plans another 100 houses there, says he’s working on getting necessary permits and plans to begin repairing the dam this fall.
The dam issue raises the same sceptre of uncertainty that has plagued Swinging Bridge for the last 18 months. An unresolved dam safety or repair issue makes buyers understandably skittish, and the situation has to be disclosed to potential buyers. 5 years ago, when I sold lakefront property, I didn’t think much about the dams that make up the lakes. Now its becoming clear that a review of the dam (on a lake that’s formed by a dam) has to be part of a buyer’s due diligence — in terms of recent inspections, safety, ownership, responsibility and liability.