WEST MILFORD The township has transferred the deed for Gordon Lakes West and its dam to the Gordon Lakes Property Owners Association. It's a deal that's been in the works for a long time.
Back in 1999, Tropical Storm Floyd caused much damage to the dam, which was privately owned along with the lake bottom. The state Department of Environmental Protection placed the dam in the high hazard danger category and required repairs to be made or the dam would be breached. The homeowners association at the time did not want that, but they couldn't come up with the funding to fix the dam. At the same time, the township could not locate the owner of the property and held the tax liens on the property.
The township eventually foreclosed on the property, which included the nearly 14-acre lake bed and the half-acre property on which the dam sits. In an agreement with the property owners association in 2002, the township co-signed a loan from the state with the agreement that when the work was done, the association would accept the property and repay the loan. The repairs - totaling just over $1 million - were finished in 2009. Each of the 120 homeowners in the Gordon Lakes community will pay their share of the loan over 20 years.
And, as of July 18, ownership of the dam and the lake bed belongs to the Gordon Lakes Property Owners Association.