Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Navigating Data Discrepancies: Understanding the Deep Creek Lake Bill Debate

In the tranquil expanse of Garrett County’s Deep Creek Lake, a bill aimed at regulating water levels has sparked a contentious debate, highlighting discrepancies in data measurements and raising concerns among stakeholders. Senate Bill 837, proposed by Sen. Mike McKay, seeks to periodically lower the lake’s water levels to facilitate environmental studies and enhance recreational opportunities. However, the bill’s reliance on different data than that used by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has ignited opposition and calls for clarification.

Understanding the Discrepancies: At the heart of the issue lies the utilization of distinct vertical datums – the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) referenced in SB 837 and the Historical Spillway Datum 2462 employed by MDE for permitting purposes. This discrepancy, amounting to approximately 1.82 feet, has significant implications for water level management and regulatory compliance.

The Implications for Stakeholders: For Brookfield Renewable US, the company responsible for operating the lake’s dam to generate electricity, SB 837 poses operational challenges that could disrupt regular dam releases and impact summer whitewater rafting businesses. Furthermore, the bill’s potential to lower lake levels significantly raises concerns among local officials and residents in nearby Friendsville. Jess Whittemore, a resident and former councilman, emphasizes the adverse effects such a reduction could have on the town’s economy and recreational activities.

Addressing Concerns and Seeking Solutions: As the debate intensifies, stakeholders advocate for inclusive dialogue and comprehensive assessments of the bill’s impact. John Bambacus, a former state senator, underscores the need for alignment between legislative proposals and regulatory standards set by MDE. He highlights the importance of public engagement in the legislative process to prevent oversights and ensure informed decision-making.

In response to concerns raised, Sen. McKay has introduced amendments to SB 837, adjusting the proposed water level requirements to align more closely with MDE’s standards. The amended bill aims to strike a balance between environmental stewardship and economic considerations, acknowledging the diverse interests at play.

As SB 837 navigates through the legislative process, stakeholders await further deliberations and seek clarity on the bill’s implications. Delegate Marc Korman’s acknowledgment of the significant public interest underscores the importance of transparent governance and robust public engagement in shaping policies that impact local communities.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.