Sep 22, 2010 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
Cazenovia Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte is fed up with the state Department of Transportation and its inaction at the south end of Cazenovia Lake.
“They have absolutely no interest, as far as I’m concerned, in really what happens at that point,” Monforte said.
The town has been pushing for the DOT to move more boulders to a parking lot at the south end of the lake in order to prevent uninspected boat access, but with little success. The move is part of the town’s effort to block new invasive species in the lake after the recent effort to rid the lake of Eurasian watermilfoil with the application of an herbicide. According to Monforte, the parking spot was originally intended for canoes and small boats, but boulders have slowly shifted to allow much larger boats through.
“Based on the letters, their whole interpretation of that point of access is much different than the DEC’s or the town of Cazenovia’s has ever been in the last 25 years that I’ve lived here,” he said.
Michael Shamma, regional manager at the DOT, responded to requests by State Sen. David Valesky on behalf of the town.
“Since this parking area has been used as an access point for decades, and it is the only free access to this public lake for people who live outside of the town, the department has no future plans to move the boulders or limit access to the lake from this parking area. This is consistent with our current policy to work in partnership with [New York State Depart of Conservation] to allow lake access along our highways where safe and possible,” Shamma said.
Monforte had planned for a meeting with the DOT, but the DOT rescheduled when they learned the meeting would be public and with a town attorney.
“They continually make comments about that point as being a general access for people to get on the lake when they know that we’ve spent $400,000 in taxpayers money … to take care of an environmental issue that they’re aware of,” Monforte said.
At a town meeting Sept. 13, Monforte expressed his frustration with the DOT.
“They owe the residents of the town of Cazenovia some better explanation than ‘that’s the way it is,'” he said.
Monforte is open to other solutions, but at this point, he said, he just wants a face-to-face with someone at the DOT.
“If the DOT wants to run that as a boat launch, then tell us what we are able to have in support from the DOT to be able to operate that safely and with some environmental consciousness,” he said.