County may assist Chautauqua Lake Pops with funding

MAYVILLE — A summer time tradition will be returning to Chautauqua Lake in June with possible financial assistance from Chautauqua County.

George Borrello, county executive, and Mark Geise, deputy Chautauqua County executive for economic development, recently discussed with Chautauqua County Legislature Audit and Control Committee the possibility of appropriating funds to the newly formed Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore, which is the former Bemus Bay Pops. The legislature will vote Wednesday whether to assist the Pops by appropriating $10,000 from the 3 percent occupancy tax reserve fund.

Borrello said the Pops are a major event that draws people from all over the region. He also said Mayville is an ideal location for the music series because the village is the county seat and a popular tourist destination.

“It fits well in this community for a number of reasons,” he said.

Geise said the concerts, which also includes the showing of movies on the floating stage, will be held June through August. He said the Pops have a multimillion economic impact for the county.

In April, Michael Ferguson, Chautauqua Lake Pops communications director, said during the a news conference announcing the return of the floating stage that the economic impact of the Pops has been $12 million to $14 million each summer.

Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point, said the return of the Pops continues a fine tradition that started many years ago when the Buffalo Philharmonic performed on the roof of the Italian Fisherman.

According to the resolution approved by the committee, the Pops have a total budget of $450,000 and so far approximately $150,000 has been raised with the intent of receiving more financial support through sponsorships and ticket sales.

In other business, Borrello discussed with the committee appropriating $65,000 of occupancy tax funding for the third-party, independent monitor of herbicide treatment in Chautauqua Lake and to apply herbicides in Burtis Bay. He said $35,000 will go toward funding the third-party, independent monitor and $30,000 will fund the herbicide application in Burtis Bay.

Borrello said the herbicide application will cover one-third of Burtis Bay, with the plan to cover a third of the bay over a three-year period.

Last week, the county announced contracting with Princeton Hydro to provide monitoring of herbicide treatments. Along with the county, Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance is also providing funding for the third-party, independent monitor of herbicide treatment in Chautauqua Lake.

Chagnon, committee and Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency chairman, said Princeton Hydro will be compiling a report about the herbicide application, which starts Wednesday and continuing through Friday in the towns of North Harmony, Ellicott and Ellery, and the villages of Lakewood and Celoron. After the herbicide application, Chagnon said Princeton Hydro will create a report detailing the herbicide application and it will be available to the public.

A total of approximately 400 acres will be treated.