Metzger backs dam repairs to preserve Minnewaska Park lake

State Sen. Jen Metzger held a press conference with Tillson Lake supporters this month to promote a lower cost estimate for refurbishing the dam that sustains the 22-acre lake in Minnewaska State Park.

A state engineering report in 2012 estimated repairs would cost $5 million to $9 million, while removing the dam would cost $1 million to $2 million – but also destroy the lake. A new engineering report this year explored a different approach and calculated the dam could be repaired for $3.2 million.

Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat, spoke to Friends of Tillson Lake members and reporters at the Ulster County park on Aug. 14, and said in a statement afterward that she hopes the state will proceed with refurbishing the dam based on the lower estimate.

“Tillson Lake is a beloved scenic and recreational destination in the community, and supports a diversity of native plant species, as well as amphibians, reptiles, and birds,” she said. “Residents enjoy the lake for kayaking, fishing, canoeing, and bird watching, and it is also used by the Shawangunk Valley Fire Department for training.”

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