Lake Wanda faces dam deadline

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:50

    VERNON-Facing a Sept. 30 deadline for applying for a state loan to repair an aging dam, a representative of the Lake Wanda Association asked the Township Council Monday to guarantee the loan. Efforts to repair the dam and save the lake, which is situated between Highland and Barry Lakes, have been going on for several years, but disputes with other property owners have continually delayed it. Now, said Kathy Agnelli, the association's head, the homeowners in the lake community are ready to move ahead. "Without the loan, we are not going to be able to get the dam fixed and save Lake Wanda," she told the council. The cost of the repairs to the dam, she said, would not exceed $400,000. The council was sympathetic to her plight and said it was ready to offer its guarantee. But it was concerned about how many people are in Agnelli's association and whether they are bound by covenant to pay the dues that would retire the loan. Agnelli had been before the council before, and the same questions raised before came up Monday. Membership in the association is voluntary and the council said, while it is willing to guarantee a loan, it will not do so unless a sufficient number of people legally obligate themselves to be dues-paying members. The problem isn't the township getting stuck with the loan. If the association were to default, the town has the authority to levy assessments on everyone living in the community, whether they are members of a lake association or not. Previous experiences with such situations has convinced township officials not to back projects that aren't backed by the residents themselves. The township agreed to give Agnelli a letter that confirm the township's support, "subject to a bona fide association authorized to enter into an agreement with the town." "An association that's voluntary is not going to work with us," said Mayor Ira Weiner.