Mohegan Lake Legal Defense Fund

History of this site

This site was originally set up to fight 3 of 5 zoning variances proposed by the FBC development at Sagamore Trail and Mohegan Ave that eliminates two single family homes while nearly quadrupling the parking and occupancy loads of the old Lakeland Jewish Center. That effort failed and the application is currently before the Planning Board.

While Save Mohegan Lake will continue to update you on that issue, we are moving on to all issues affecting the lake, such as Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) meetings, agenda and budget. This site is not an official mouthpiece for MLID, but some updates will be provided on this site; the official site is located here.

We do it all here, so long as it's Mohegan Lake related. Feel free to submit comments, content, garage sale notices, police blotters, PSA's, essays on the virtues of our 105 acre ice rink, rants, raves, etc... We love it all.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ice, Ice, Baby.

While the town has been incredibly helpful and responsive to the concerns of residents, and despite a short term period where Mohegan Ave was nearly water free--we're back to historically high levels.  Hopefully our partnership with the town will result in a permanent solution for this chronic condition.  Below, a few photos from Christmas morning, 2012.

Looking west toward rte 6.
This is the backside of the possibly beaver fallen tree we discussed here.
Despite it's flaws, Mohegan Lake sure is beautiful.
I would hate to see another car and a pedestrian all fighting for space at this choke point.  Someone's getting wet, at a minimum--if not seriously/gravely injured. 

The Outflow Issue

The level of Mohegan Lake is at an all-time high. The Yorktown highway department has been incredibly helpful in addressing some of the underlying issues, but there's still work to be done. I wanted to share a few photos provided by reader Abby Luby 2 months ago in October. They help illustrate the outflow issues. With no further ado.

Gross.  Our blue-green algae is decidedly on the green end of the spectrum.  This is the lake side of the Mohegan Avenue culvert.  Please note that you can't see the culvert opening on this side.
The Mohegan Lake Improvement District's fearless leader, Ken Belfer, risking life and limb and a dip in some gross algae water to take measurements at the Mohegan Avenue culvert(outflow side).  You can see a separation on this side between the lake level and the culvert.  This indicates we've got a blockage under the road itself. 
Man at work: Ken Belfer.

This interesting steel structure is the grating that keeps crap--for lack of a better word--like branches and trash from clogging up the first in a series of pipes circulate the waters of Mohegan lake.  This is just south of the Winery.

This is across the road (see Winery in background).
Word on the street is that this junction of the pipes was completely cemented shut by the State Department of Transportation.  Thankfully, Yorktown stepped in and fixed this part of the problem.  Unfortunately, our drainage issue persists.  As I type this, I can see half of Mohegan Ave covered in water, snow and ice. 
Thanks for the pictures, Abby!

Monday, December 17, 2012

MLID Meeting 12/20/12 @ 7:30pm

Are you not on the MLID listserv?  Oh, you should be if you care about our dear Mohegan Lake.  You would be getting informative emails about MLID, like the one below.  Hope to see you there.

"Our December meeting of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District will be this Thursday December 20 at 7:30 P.M. In the kitchen of the Mohegan Colony schoolhouse at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond.  Hope you can join us as we plan for what we will do in 2013 to try to avoid another summer lost to blue green algae blooms."

 Sure, it is the middle of the holiday season, but you can always find an excuse not to attend an MLID meeting.   Come on, you know you want to be more active in this vital issue that we all pay taxes to fund.  You can actually have a say in how that money gets spent, if you show up this Thursday! :-)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Historic Map News

I was playing hookie today cause my father's in town.  We stopped by The Dew Drop Inn Antique Center of Rte. 9 in Phillipstown Very nice shop with many quality vendors.  I was delighted to find two of the same historic maps of Yorktown.  They are pricey: $65.  I didn't by one (I would at $40), but I did take this quick photo detail.  It shows all the old property owners.  You can see where John C. Hart's property is that was donated to town and became our very own John C. Hart Memorial Library.  If I ever get rich, I'm going to become a map collector.

Mohegan Lake Has a Posse.

View Larger Map

Monday, December 10, 2012

Elephant In The Room: The Holland Sporting Club

Arguably the most important issue facing the future of Mohegan Lake?  The Holland Sporting Club.  The fate of this beautiful acreage, which is supposed to end up as passive recreation for the surrounding residential community (and all of Yorktown residents), is still up in the air.

Unsure where the Holland Sporting Club is?  Below is a map with a pin showing you the entrance.  It's basically the peninsula structure jutting out into Mohegan Lake.

View Larger Map
 Yorktown recently demolished about 11 buildings which comprised the original Holland Sporting.  There was some controversy, as there always is with anything in this town. 

If anyone thinks this issue is settled is mistaken. It's quite possible, especially under the current administration, we may see a "private-public partnership" that sees us giving it all, or a portion, away to a private developer.

Nothing is certain.  This is an issue that every Mohegan Laker ought to concern themselves with.  No definitively plans have been put forth, and it's all napkin sketches at this point.  Keep your eye on the ball.

Don't Forget To Vote

I'm not sure who is running for Commissioner of the Mohegan Lake Fire District (5 year term) but you can view the legal notice at the Yorktown website here.   I assume it's probably an uncontested position since I haven't heard of any news of a contest, but could be wrong cause I have no clue.  Feel free to fill in the numerous blanks in the comment section, if you're in the know.  Regardless, get out and vote, cause it's the democratic thing to do.

The vote will take place at the Jefferson Valley Fire Station at 500 Lee Boulevard in Jefferson Valley.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Sunday

Hi there Mohegan Laker,

It was great to see so many of you turn out for the hurricane relief fundraising party for the Keppler's friends from Breezy Point, Queens. It was heartwarming to see what a great and generous--not to mention good looking--community we have. One thing that I kept getting asked last night was how you can follow us on facebook. I was remiss not being explicit in previous posts. All you have to do is click on this link to the facebook page and hit the "like" button. And then you'll have a whole lot of Mohegan Lake up in your facebook news feed.

For the record, we still need to figure out who lost their boat last month.  Spread the word.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Houston, We Have a Blockage

One of the major factors contributing to the health of the lake is how long a drop of water sits in the lake retention time.  Basically how long it takes to flush a drop of water out of the lake.  One of the problems we've had are at the Mohegan Avenue culvert (pics below).  The town highway super, Eric DiBartolo has been very helpful directing his crew to clear out in front of the concrete culvert with their equipment.  It has helped, but is a small waterfall inside the culvert.  We need to figure out how these obstructions can be pushed or pulled out for a complete fix of that structures flow capacity.

The town also helped with two other structures that were damaged or sealed with concrete[!] by the State when they were doing some work.  These structures are located by The Winery at St. George as the outflow continues under Route 6; there is another structure as the it continues towards Peekskill.  It is my understanding that those are now completely fixed. 

For your orientation, the Mohegan Ave culvert is in line with the tip of this canoe.  Beyond the trees to the upper left is CVS.

Beaver dam or not, there are a ton of branches and muck inside that concrete structure.  If you get close, you can hear the waterfall inside the culvert.  How can we clear it?  Might be easiest to just rip the top off and clean it out with a backhoe and pour a new roof for it and re pave it. 

View Larger Map

Beavers and The Mohegan Lake Outflow

So last weekend I claimed to have photos of a beaver-felled tree.  I went back this morning and retook the photos I lost.  Looking at them again, I think I was wrong.  It almost looks like someone axed it down? Feel free to comment below and share your opinion on what cause it.  One thing is sure is that it was recent.  I think beavers may work more circularly and symmetrically around the tree.  And as Wayne pointed out, that tree is a bit big for a beaver.  Anyhoo...the town has hired a wildlife trapper and has rounded up 4 to be relocated--last I heard.
Detail of felled tree. 

For reference, you can see the corner of Faith Bible at the top right (white corner) of this photo taken from the lake .

View Larger Map

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Getting Up To Speed On The Issues

I highly recommend you get on the official Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) listserv.  You can stay up to date on current issues and meeting dates/times.  Get in touch with MLID president Ken Belfer, or send me an email at, if you're interested in joining.

Quick summary of the most pressing issues:

1)  The blue-green algae problem.  We have a plan to apply for a New York State Department of Environmental Protection to apply alum (aluminum sulfate) to the lake.  The idea is that the alum would bind the phosphorous which is what the algae thrives on--or at least that's my layman's understanding of the issue.

2)  The MLID weed harvester (big boat that harvests the invasive weeds that live under water) is on it's last legs.  It will likely not function for another season.  It is a big ticket item; the current weed harvester was purchased in the mid-80's.  It now spends more time on shore, getting repaired, than it does in the lake.

3)  The  budget.  For the first time last year (2012), the town adjusted our budget--without our knowledge--from the normal 5% admin fee the MLID fund pays to the town by $2,000.  That raised our admin fees to 7.4%.  There's a budget hearing tomorrow, 12/5/12.  We are hoping that they cap the admin fee for all districts at 6%.

4)  The budget, part 2: The MLID general fund has been depleted to the point where we may not be able to afford the alum treatment or a new weed harvester. Alum is a short term solution, but if we don't go forward, you can expect that the NYS Department of Health will likely shut down the lake to all swimming in mid-July again because of the blue-green aglae (ours is more green--neon green algae).  About three years ago our fund was over $300,000 because we had budgeted dredging.  Because of previous applications of copper sulfate (copper is heavy metal, in a bad way), the dredged material would have to be treated as hazardous waste and cost prohibitive to dispose of.  Now we may not have the funds to treat the lake to reduce--if not eliminate--the algae blooms.

So, in summary, we need you to get involved.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Leave It To Beaver

I lost some good photos I took this weekend of a 12-18" tree in the wetland at the top of the lake that had been felled by a beaver.  Unmistakeably a beaver's handiwork; word on the street is the town is hiring trappers.  MLID and the Yorktown official have confirmed it's a problem that contributes the problem of the lake overtaking the road (see image below--yes, I stopped the car to take the pic).

The town highway department has been incredibly helpful and gone above and beyond their duties to clear out the concrete culvert that runs under Mohegan Ave as you come down from Rte. 6.  They have pulled all the muck out in front of the concrete tube, but there's muck inside the culvert.  The town did additional improvements to the outflow infrastructure that passes right by The Winery and out towards Oregon Road (Mohegan Lake water ends up in Peekskill).

Figuring out how we can clean out inside the culvert--without spending boat loads of money--is one of the problems that MLID is tasked with.  If we have a steady outflow, it will contribute to a healthier lake. Any ideas?  Can it be done in-house?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Who lost their boat just before Thanksgiving?

About a week or two ago, from my house on the north side of the lake, I saw a ghost boat float past (image above).  A good Samaritan from the condos on the east side towed it to SOLE beach; it is still there.   It looks to be a 10-12 foot John boat (?).  It has a red stripe.  I can't make out the brand but it's something "craft." I thought I saw a paddle float by an hour or so later, but never found it.