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Oswego calls for suspension of Plan 2014

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Oswego temporarily closed Wright's Landing Marina due to flooding from Lake Ontario.

The Oswego Common Council unanimously passed a resolution at its meeting this week calling on the International Joint Commission (IJC), the international body that helps regulate Lake Ontario's levels, to suspend Plan 2014. It's the water management plan implemented three years ago that calls for higher lake levels. Those who live along the shoreline blame it for the record water levels seen this year and in 2017.

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says Plan 2014 is the direct culprit for the resulting flooding, which has caused more than $7 million of damage to the city since 2017 and recently forced officials to shut down Oswego's marina.

"The damage speaks for itself and the negative impact that this plan has had on so many people and so much property along the lakeshore is clearly evident," Barlow said. "I think it's safe to say they tried it, it didn't work like they planned or had more negative effects then they initially planned, and maybe walk it back a bit. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I understand the intent of what Plan 2014 was meant to do, but maybe we just have to scale it back a bit and revise it."

The Wayne County Board of Supervisors also recently passed a resolution criticizing Plan 2014, calling for its repeal.

Despite the criticism, the IJC has stood by its plan, blaming the lake levels on the large amount of precipitation the region has seen.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.