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County legislators eye funds for lake weeds

At its Nov. 28 meeting, the Chautauqua County Legislature will be voting on a resolution to allocate $25,870 from the County’s 2 percent Occupancy Tax Funding Reserve to help cleanup Burtis Bay on Chautauqua Lake.

Earlier this month, excessive amounts of aquatic vegetation, high water levels, and wind conditions resulted in a large deposit of aquatic vegetation and fish kill to accumulate in Burtis Bay near Celoron.

After local resident Mike Newell, who lives along the bay, presented this situation to the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Board of Directors, the board and county officials met with representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to determine a practical option for removing the weeds.

To address the issue, the County plans to have the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) remobilize its fleet to do a shoreline and near-shore cleanup of floating vegetation along Burtis Bay. The cleanup area would span from the ball field to the Ellicott Shores Apartments point and alongside the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel. The CLA has estimated this work will cost $73,870.

“The County has taken the lead in addressing this issue before the end of the year so these weeds don’t decay and contribute to more phosphorous build up in the Chautauqua Lake,” said George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive. “We are fighting the winter weather to get this cleanup accomplished, which is why we have submitted an emergency resolution this month to the County Legislature for its review and approval.”

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