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Town approves aquatic plant survey to assess need for future chemical treatment in lake

— The Cazenovia Town Board last week approved the expense of $8,000 to survey aquatic plants in Cazenovia Lake to help assess the possible need for future chemical treatments of the lake to kill invasive species.

The survey will be completed by Robert Johnson, of Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists, who has been doing the Cazenovia Lake surveys since 2009. He will use the “rake toss” method, which is quite simply tossing a rake head into the water and cataloguing the aquatic plants that are pulled out. The study will help the town board decide whether or not a chemical treatment program for the lake is “warranted,” said Councilor Liz Moran, who is the lake watershed liaison for the board.

Moran said the town will apply for chemical treatment of the lake in 2014 with Renovate weed killer.

The town previously treated the lake with Renovate (triclopyr) in 2009, 2010 and 2012 in an effort to bring the invasive species Eurasian water milfoil under control. No chemical treatment was applied to the lake this year due to the cost and the shortened timetable to submit permit applications to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Moran said the cost of the aquatic plant survey will be paid from the town’s environmental program and lake health budget lines, which have “a good balance” to draw from.

The board unanimously approved the plant survey, although Supervisor Ralph Monforte said he voted yes “reluctantly” because he was “very concerned” about the town bearing the high expense of chemical treatments of the lake. On the other, he said the survey information is good for the town to have whether the chemical treatments are ultimately done or not.

Cazenovia Lake Association President Bob Greiner spoke to the board later in the meeting and, since it is coming up to budget time, asked that they increase or at least maintain current lake health funding levels in the budget so chemical treatment can be applied to the lake in 2014. He said the CLA currently has “no solution” to the milfoil issue in the lake except for the application of Renovate weed killer. Monforte said the town last year budgeted $137,000 for lake health and protection.

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