History of Lake Sagamore

LAKE SAGAMORE IS A PRIVATE MAN-MADE LAKE of more than 100 acres owned by the Lake Sagamore Community Association, Inc., an association of homeowners with deeded rights to use the lake. Created in 1947 by Leland Ryder, who owned or controlled virtually all of  the land in and around the lake, it is fed by several streams, springs, and run-off (See Part IV, Section C of the Lake Sagamore Handbook for more about the development of the Lake). The lake feeds into the Boyds Corner Reservoir, a component of New York City’s water supply.

The Association was incorporated in 1956 as a not-for-profit corporation under the NYS Membership Corporations Law. In addition to the lake, the Association also owns the seven lake front parklands and the 2-acre Brawer Island. The parklands are points of access to the lake for all association members, including property owners with deeded lake rights who do not own lake front property and who are located immediately across the lake’s perimeter road. The Association manages its responsibilities through officers, including a president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer, a secretary, and a Board of Directors. The Association meets twice a year, in the spring and fall, for the membership to make the decisions which affect us all.

Lake Sagamore lies mostly in an unincorporated area of the Town of Kent, Putnam County. (The name “Kent Lakes” may be used: it is a U.S. Post offi ce designation assigned to our zip code, 10512.) A small portion at the southwestern tip of the Lake and Parkland IV are in the Town of Putnam Valley. The Town of Kent, our first level of governmental authority, was established in 1795. It is run by a five-member Town Board led by a supervisor. The Board generally meets evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Kent Town Hall, located at 25 Sybil’s Crossing, just off Route 52. Those wishing to attend should inquire when a Town Board meeting is to be convened. Kent has its own police force located just adjacent to the Town Hall. Volunteer fire stations are located on Route 52 in Lake Carmel and on Route 301 in western Kent. Kent also has its own Planning and Zoning Boards. Kent students attend the Carmel School District schools. School taxes, due in September, are set by the Carmel School Board. Town property taxes are due in January.

The Association, as legal owner of the lake, pays property taxes to the Town of Kent, as well as to Putnam County. Each year, a dues and an assessment are collected by the Association from each homeowner. The dues covers community meetings, the annual picnic and publications. The much larger assessment covers maintenance of the lake, insurance, legal matters, dam maintenance, water quality, nuisance abatement, and value protection. Although police and fi re services are provided by the Town of Kent, individual home owners are responsible for all other utilities. Many residents make use of the Kent Recycling Center on Route 52 for recyclable trash (see Part II, Section H of the Lake Sagamore Handbook). Our neighbor, Lake Carmel, has a Park District to run its lakes and beaches, as well as its own Sanitation Department, both supported by taxes. Several unincorporated Western Kent communities, however, have formed resident associations like our own to preserve and control the quality of their environment. It is vitally important that each household become involved in Association activities and in local politics. Decisions made by the Association and the outcome of Town and County elections determine issues that bear directly on the future of our community and the health of our lake. More information about the government of the Town, including the Department of Buildings, Assessor, Department of Recreation, calendar of meetings, and the Town directory may be found at the web site, www.townofkentny.gov.