Southwick residents petition for no jet ski’s on North Pond

The North Pond is 47 acres

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – The debate is heating up over jet skis in Southwick’s North Pond.

More than 50 Southwick residents have signed a petition, asking the select board to reverse the Police chief’s decision to allow jet skis on North pond.

“I think comes down to the residents that on the lake itself,” Michael Collazo of Springfield told 22News. “But then again, if they’re divided on that, I guess it would come down to whoever is in charge of the lake, maybe the Harbormaster.”

The Harbormaster is Southwick Police Chief Dave Ricardi and he told 22News, environmental police told him, it’s ok for jet skis to operate on the North Pond of the Congamond Lakes, which was the basis for his decision to lift the 2 decade old ban.

“But I have yet to see a jet ski on North Pond,” said Lakeside resident Ronald Croteau.

And if residents have the final say, it will remain that way.

Richard Grennells, head of the Lake Management Committee told 22News Lakeside residents have started their own petition and have more than 50 signatures. They want to reverse the recent ruling to allow jet skis on the North Pond.

Residents delivered their petition to the Select Board Monday night. Croteau told 22News, jet skis present a danger on the North Pond, especially to boaters.

“We’re a lot less agile, so we just keep kinda keep going and hope they don’t hit us,” said Croteau. “It’s kinda like a car, there’s people swerving. You just kinda hold your breath and say, ‘that’s a close call, I don’t think that was a good idea.'”

Under state law, jet skis can only be used on bodies of water larger than 75 acres. North Pond is 47. But the new ruling combines all three of Congamond Ponds for a total of 465 acres.