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Caz: Board returns to normalcy

Board returns to normalcy

By Beezly Kiernan

republican@cnylink.com

Now that the Comprehensive Plan has been approved and the controversy surrounding it has been reduced to a low simmer, the Cazenovia Village Board has returned to more normal activities.

At the monthly meeting on Monday Aug. 4, the board again extended the moratorium on fast food and adult stores within the Cazenovia Historic District. Additionally, it pledged to form a Zoning Reform Working Group to address the changes espoused by the new Comprehensive Plan. The board also supported the establishment of a committee on Town-Gown relations, to be made up of village and Cazenovia College officials.

As always, lake issues remained at a steady boil. To deal with some of those issues, the board pledged two of its members to a new Cazenovia Lake Watershed Council. The council will allow public officials and private stakeholders to come together and craft a more comprehensive lake policy.

At the meeting, the board addressed the persistent weed problem at Lakeland Park. A number of options are on the table, including raking the weeds out, vacuuming the weeds up from the lake bottom, and installing benthic mats to limit weed growth. The board appeared to lean toward the mats, which are generally placed on the lake bottom in early spring to prevent weeds from taking root. Lake shore resident Chary Griffin, who uses the mats on her property, said the mats are both inexpensive, less than $100 per five by eight foot mat, and effective.

"You move them around from time to time," said Griffin, "and they're great."

The issue of permit enforcement on the lake and at Lakeside Park also came up. Since the village board opened up the Lakeside Park boat launch to out-of-town residents with special permits last month, the number of fishing boats on the lake has increased. The boat launch and the lake are only policed during the most popular times of the week. Thus, there remains the possibility that boaters without permits could be using the Lakeside Park boat launch, and that careless boaters can be introducing unwanted invasive species, such as water chestnut, to the lake.

"Was it a perfect plan? No," said Trustee Russ Brownback, referring to opening up the lake to out-of-towners while simultaneously expanding enforcement on the lake. But, "it was action over inaction," he said, noting that before the plan was enacted, there was no policing of out-of-town boaters on the lake.

Beezly Kiernan is an intern and stringer for Eagle Newspapers.

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