Leaky Dams Force Pond to be Drained

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LEBANON TOWNSHIP -- A popular pond in Wayne County has been drained to nearly half its size.

Fish and Boat Commission officials said they had no choice after the dams surrounding the pond were starting to leak.

Since John Rogari was young, he would venture over to Lower Woods Pond, which is less than a half a mile from his back yard, outside Pleasant Mount.

But as he went to check out the lake recently, he saw an empty area, where the pond once was.

"I think it stinks." said Rogari.

Rogari said the pond is a hot spot during the summer months when he would take his grandson.

"You go up there any day and there's a lot of people there fishing, boats, and walking around the shore and different things. So I don't see it helping anything," said Rogari.

Across the road, Rogari's neighbors are just as disappointed.

"We have two boats, we have a canoe and a paddle boat, that we put on the pond. We went there one day to see and there's no water in the pond," said Bernard LoPinto of Lebanon Township.

Back in December, Lower Woods Pond near Pleasant Mount was drained to about half of its 91-acre size. Fish and Boat Commission officials said the reason is because the dams around the pond became a safety concern.

The dams are leaking and if they were to burst, Rogari's home would be flooded.

So the Fish and Boat Commission decided to drain the pond to its natural size of 50 acres.

"I like the lake, it's nice to go up there but now it's gone," said Rogari.

"We feel it will be a couple of years and maybe something will happen," said LoPinto.

While the Fish and Boat Commission is hoping to fix the dams, they're among several across the state also in bad condition and there's not enough money to fix them all.

It's unclear if or when the $2 million will be available to fix the dams at Lower Woods Pond.