Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

Tax District

Note this project is currently on indefinite hold. This page last updated for content Mid 2008.

(Minor typos and links have been fixed after then to keep the page working with the latest website.)

Lake Restoration Project Overview

Quicklink to Timeline

District Boundary Map

[Note: Items marked in Red are updates to original text]

In an ongoing effort to improve and maintain Truesdale Lake for natural aesthetics, health, and recreation, the associations around the lake have been working actively since 2001 to study and document the lake’s current state and the areas where there is room for improvement and need for maintenance.

To this end, we have commissioned a number of studies which have led to detailed plans. The good news is that our lake has an active community in many ways with residents who care deeply about the lake. The bad news is that increased runoff and sedimentation are threatening the long-term health of the lake. Human impacts, particularly road runoff and temporary ‘fixes’ of local drainage issues, are severely impacting parts of the lake and in turn threatening the vitality of the entire lake. We have created a timeline that gives a very quick overview of the sequence of events and decisions that have guided our approach to the lake restoration.

There are a number of ways we can tackle these problems. Some are short term, some are long term.

The studies below document the chain of events which led us to form a group to work on what we have dubbed the “Lake Restoration Project.” Now that we have documented what needs to be done, we need to come up with the money to do it. There are multiple ways of funding these projects, ranging from raising all of the money ourselves to getting all of it from other sources. There are also solutions that involve a combination of self-funding and outside sources.

A lake community meeting was held Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 at 7:00pm at the Lewisboro Elementary School Cafeteria. The meeting recapped the studies and mapped out a course of action to get the work underway and funded.

On June 15th, 2006, a follow-up letter was mailed to the Proposed Lake Tax District Residents outlining and addressing concerns and more points to consider.

The current thinking is to:

  1. Create a tax benefit district encompassing all of the houses that have direct lakefront access or hold lake rights through TEA, TLPOA, or the Vreeland subdivision.
  2. Minimize the amount of money that needs to be raised by applying for grants to offset some capital costs.
  3. Note that in creating a district with taxing authority, the lake improvement district is considered a “grant-eligible body” which opens up a much wider range of outside/government funding opportunities as opposed to a private group or groups (such as TLPOA and TEA) searching for grant money alone.

The meeting discussed these issues including what hurdles need to be overcome to establish a tax district, how to divide up the costs between the 300± households in the proposed district, and what grants have already been applied for to offset capital costs. We are always looking for feedback and ideas.

How can you help individually right now? Wendy McLean put together this excellent document outlining and summarizing a number of steps homeowners can take to limit their effect on the lake environment. These include eliminating phosphorus-based fertilizer, creating vegatative barriers along the water’s edge, and maintaining septic systems vigilantly. See the writeup for many other best practices.

Below are the documents and studies which were referenced at the meeting. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the documents and issues we face.

We have also put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the formation and operation of a Lake Improvement Tax District. Ask us more questions! Ask for further clarification of questions we have answered but you are not satisfied with the detail. That is how we sharpen our focus and get this done the best way possible.

Thank you for listening and for your continued support. This effort can not be successful without broad and deep support from the Truesdale Lake Community.

Evaluation and Engineering Reports listing and links [Link to Downloads & Descriptions]

Who Prepared
Original Lake Report (pdf file) Sept 5, 2001 Land-Tech
Original Lake Report Community Presentation (web link) or (Powerpoint file) April 6, 2002 Land-Tech
Dam Report (pdf file) July 11, 2002 Land-Tech
Dam Engineering Study & Plans (blueprints) or (pdf file) Feb 10, 2004 HTE Northeast
Stormwater Management Plans (blueprints) or (pdf file) Mar 22, 2005 Land-Tech
Stormwater Management Project Descriptions (web link) or (pdf file) Nov 30, 2005 Land-Tech

Other Reports

Who Prepared
Citizen’s Statewide Lake Assesment Program 2004 Report (pdf file) August 2005 NY State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA)
Aquatic Macrophyte Initial Study 2005 (pdf file) July 7, 2005 Allied Biological
Aquatic Plant Management Plan 2005 January 2006 Allied Biological
Follow-up letter mailed to the Proposed Lake Tax District Residents June 2006 TLPOA and TEA Board Members
Frequently Asked Questions Listing last updated June 2006 Legal Counsel, TLPOA and TEA Board Members
DRAFT Bill for New York State Legislature establishing Truesdale Lake Improvement Tax District March 14, 2007 Don Rossi, attorney

Relevant Links and Pages

Who Prepared
Truesdale Lake Drive (Site #3) Stormwater runoff video and photo documentation September 2004 Robert Cummings photos and video
What You Can Do To Keep Our Lake Healthy February 2006 Wendy McLean, also parts summarized from larger document below
Guide to Lake Protection and Management (pdf file) updated in 2004 ©2004 by the Freshwater Society and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Truesdale Lake Property Owners Association (TLPOA) Properties Map TLPOA
Truesdale Estates Association (TEA) Properties Map TEA
Proposed Benefit District Map (high-resolution, must scroll to see it) March 2006 Truesdale Lake Restoration Project (TLRP) Working Group
Lake Restoration Project Timeline to Date updated April 2007 TLRP Working Group

If you have any trouble downloading or reading any of these files, please click the “Contact Us” link on the left-hand side and ask for assistance. Please describe any error messages you receive along with the type of computer you are using. We’ll be happy to help but response might not be immediate.

Tax District Proposed Bill “Cliff’s Notes”

img442c8cd1e4d5eA recent item on the website is the “Cliff’s Notes” (or “Spark Notes” for the younger crowd) version of the Proposed Truesdale Lake Tax District Bill. Click here to view these notes. Thanks to Stephen Real for boiling the bill down to its essence.

For those who want to see it all, the full text of the bill can be found by clicking here.

If you have questions about the proposed Truesdale Lake Improvement Tax District, you can find the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list here.

The map to the right can be found here.