Mar 19, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Cazenovia town board last week continued moving forward in its battle against watermilfoil and other invasive species in Cazenovia Lake by authorizing the purchase of weed harvesting equipment, seeking a cooperative agreement on harvesting with Madison County and approving a draft environmental impact statement on its planned lake treatment projects for 2014.
None of these actions have been finalized yet, and the draft environmental impact statement, once it has been reviewed by state agencies and approved in final form by the town board, will be open for resident review and public comment for 30 days before the board votes to make it official policy.
The town’s lake treatment plans for this year include a multi-pronged approach using chemical treatment, weed harvesting, benthic mats, possible biological solutions (introducing animals such as moths and weevils into the lake to eat the milfoil) and a continued focus on rainwater run-off mitigation. The town also has a phosphorous study of the lake ongoing, in conjunction with SUNY ESF, which is investigating the sources of the lake’s high phosphorous levels.
“We’re putting quite a bit of time in on lake treatment and weed harvesting,” Town Supervisor Bill Zupan said during the board’s March 10 regular monthly meeting.
In February, the town board solicited bids for a new 2014 model aquatic plant harvester, but rejected the two bids received — both of which were more than $150,000 — as being not in the “best interests” of the town. The board then issued a second round of bids with slightly different specifications for a 2014 plant harvester, which were opened March 4. The two bids received — from the same two companies as the first time, one for $171,000 and one for $153,000 — have not yet been acted on by the town board.
During the March 10 meeting, however, the board discussed the potential purchase of a used 2003 aquatic weed harvester that it had identified and examined recently.
“For a 10-year-old machine this seems in great shape; we examined the whole thing,” said Councilor Pat Race. The harvester has 3,300 hours of operating time on it, and is supposed to get 10,000 hours. He said the deal they are investigating comes with the harvester, a conveyor, a trailer and extra parts, all at a third of the price of buying a new machine. The seller is also willing to train the town crews on how to operate the harvester, Race said.
“To get into the game we thought this would be an affordable and reliable way of doing it,” Race said.
The board voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the harvester.
At the beginning of the meeting, Scott Ingmire, of the Madison County Planning Department, met with the board and reiterated his previous commitment of the county renting its aquatic weed harvester to the town for use on Cazenovia Lake for three weeks during the summer at a cost of $31 per hour, or about $4,000 total.
In response to a question from Councilor Tom Driscoll, Ingmire said that if the town bought its own harvester the county would be willing to assist in operator training and some maintenance issues at no charge.
Also at the meeting, the board unanimously approved a draft supplemental environmental impact statement for its proposed use of the chemical Renovate in the lake to eradicate milfoil. That document is now available for public review on the town website at townofcazenovia.org under the “Caz Lake Restoration” tab.
A public comment period on the draft SEIS began March 11 and ends April 10. All public comments on the draft should be sent to the town office.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Approved the appointment of Gerald Rasmussen to the Cazenovia Advisory Conservation Commission to fill an unexpired term that ends Dec. 31, 2014.
—Approved the use of the New Woodstock ball field by the New Woodstock Women’s Softball League for 2014.
—Authorized the town highway superintendent to solicit bids for the sale of the town’s 2013 John Deere 624K wheeled loader, as well as to purchase a 2014 John Deere 624K wheeled loader for $149,560 as a replacement. The proceeds of the sale will be used for the purchase of the new machine.
— Authorized the town highway superintendent to sell the town’s 2012 Bobcat S185 Skid-Steer loader for $27,900 and also to purchase a 2014 S570 T4 Bobcat Skid-Steer as a replacement for $32,849.
—Heard from Councilor Liz Moran that the Future of the Town Office Building Committee recently met with the town’s architects and with members of the community advisory committee and the process to decide how to move forward with renovations to the Gothic Cottage is “going really well.”
—Responded to a resident’s question that the town is still working to develop both a town noise ordinance and a mass gathering law. Both will be introduced to the board at its April meeting, with a public hearing and possible vote on the proposed laws in May.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.