Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting and or staying at Garnet Lake has to acknowledge the incredible beauty of this place. The pristine waters, the forest preserve and incredible views of the mountains rising above the lake make this a treasured place for both people and wildlife. The preservation of Garnet Lake could be in jeopardy for all. This depends on the structure at the north end of the lake, specifically, the dam and spillway.
The dam was originally built in the mid 1850’s and was reconstructed around 1950 with stone and cement along with cooperation of the Town of Johnsburg. According to the DEC, the dam at Garnet Lake does not currently meet Dam safety standards for flow during high levels of rain and needs to be altered or reconstructed to meet these new standards.
A modest estimate of the price tag for the dam reconstruction ranges from $500,000 to $3,000,000 depending upon the extent of the restoration or rebuilding work required. The Garnet Lake Conservation Association which is a tax-exempt 501c(3) organization, has applied for a DEC grant to help pay for the cost of developing engineering plans that could be submitted to the DEC for approval. These plans would provide the first estimates of the cost and timeline of the dam restoration possibly as early as mid-2022. The approved plan could then be submitted for bids for the necessary construction work.
There is hope that an additional DEC grant may be open for applicants, perhaps as soon as next year; this grant would address the reconstruction costs. In order to qualify for this grant, GLCA would need to have approximately 40% of the cost of restoration in financial reserves.
GLCA owns the dam and its membership currently consists of only some 30 families with permanent or seasonal houses around the lake. Most of the land around the Lake is owned by the State, which has a public boat launch and numerous campsites and trails around the Lake that are used by the general public.
GLCA has been complying with DEC requirements with monetary contributions and volunteer labor from its members for decades. However, the enormous cost of rebuilding the dam greatly exceeds the financial means of these homeowner families. If the dam is not brought to DEC acceptable standards and it is removed by the DEC, the lake would be lost. GLCA has therefore decided to start the “Save The Lake” fund-raising campaign to raise the funds necessary to complete the dam rehabilitation project.
The fund-raising campaign will last for two or more years, tentatively ending at the moment when a reconstruction contract is executed. The campaign will be as wide as possible and we would welcome all donations, regardless how small or large. We hope that as the campaign continues and the final goal becomes clearer, many donors will choose to contribute again and again, to help us reach the goal and to save Garnet Lake. We would welcome and encourage the help of all donors the spread the word and encourage friends and family to join the campaign. There are many ways to give. All donors in the general fund raising campaign will receive recognition, unless they choose to remain anonymous.
A special arm of our general fund-raising campaign is the Name The Dam Contest. It is aimed at the potential donors with greater means in an effort to raise the substantial amounts of money that could allow GLCA to achieve its mandated goal of rebuilding the dam in accordance with DEC requirements. To that purpose, GLCA hopes that multiple individuals or groups of individuals will compete in this contest for the opportunity to name the dam in a continuing effort to reach the amount of money necessary to complete the dam project.
Unlike a typical sale auction where only the winner of the auction spends money for the auctioned item, all participants must make donations upfront to participate in the auction. All donations are non-refundable, and all donors, to the campaign, will receive recognition at following levels: Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Garnet.
GLCA, Inc. will exercise its best effort to obtain funding from government grants, participating members and various general fund-raising efforts. At this starting point in the fund-raising campaign GLCA Inc. does not know what the likely cost will be or required deadline for the completion of the project nor can it guarantee to the potential donors that it will succeed in raising enough money to be able to complete the dam restoration project. GLCA has applied for a DEC grant to help defray part of the cost of the engineering work required to determine several possible dam designs that could be submitted to the DEC for approval. The DEC has not yet announced the winners of these grant applications.
All donations to GLCA, Inc are non-refundable and tax deductible. GLCA has no administrative costs and uses 100% of donations for its cause. The donations for dam reconstruction will be will be kept in a separate account for dam work only. In the event that GLCA is unable to proceed with the construction project or is fortunate enough to receive contributions in excess of the project costs, these amounts will be used by GLCA for other lawful purposes of the Corporation as the Board deems appropriate at that time.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily increased the amount of money that can be deducted through the end of 2021. AS GLCA is not able to provide you with any tax advice, please consult your tax advisor before making any contributions to obtain timely and correct information about the impact of your donation on your tax return. GLCA is an organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
A copy of its most recent annual report is available by contacting the organization directly at GLCA or the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau charities registry at https://charitiesnys.com/. For questions about charities, please contact the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau at the website indicated above, by e-mail at email@example.com, by phone at (212)416-8401 or by mail at 28 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10005. Registration with the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau or any other government agency should not be construed as an endorsement of a charity.
Fund raising Committee
Paul Beer, Anne Bernat, Ed Jahn, Marianne Siniapkin, Bob Wiltenburg