Apr 30, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Cazenovia Town Board continues moving forward with its plans to fight milfoil and other invasive species in Cazenovia Lake and recently authorized the purchase of a weed harvester and conveyor, revised the benthic mat rental program and scheduled special meetings to discuss chemical treatment of the lake with the weed killer Renovate.
“It’s all part of the lake management plan for controlling weeds; we’re taking a holistic approach,” said Town Supervisor Bill Zupan.
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.
In March, the town board unanimously approved the purchase of a used 2003 aquatic weed harvester from the Wayne County [N.Y.] Soil and Water Conservation District at a price of $42,500, which Zupan described as “a very good deal.”
During the board’s April 14 regular monthly meeting, councilors voted to approve the purchase of a new 2014 model year shore conveyor for $34,057 from Alpha Boats Unlimited. The purchase was the result of the town’s solicitation of bid proposals for a shore conveyor, announced March 10 and opened April 7, during which Alpha Boats Unlimited submitted the sole bid.
The recent purchase process, however, was the third time the town had solicited for bids for a weed harvester and conveyor. The town previously received and rejected two bids in February as being not in the “best interests” of the town, and issued a second bid request. In March, the board rejected all bids for weed harvester and shore conveyor as a group package and decided instead to consider the purchase of a weed harvester and shore conveyor separately. They then issued a new request for bids solely for a shore conveyor.
The town expects to receive its harvester this week and its new shore conveyor in mid-June, Zupan said. The weed harvesting is scheduled to occur for 13 weeks between mid-June and mid-September, with a two-man crew working 40 hours per week during weekdays, he said.
Also at the April 14 meeting, the board approved a revision to its benthic mat rental program, which was established in 2013.
Benthic barrier mats cover a portion of the lake bottom and prevent plant growth by blocking the sunlight required for plants to grow. They also provide a physical barrier against the spread of macrophytes, or, more specifically for Cazenovia Lake issues, Eurasian water milfoil.
The town established the rental program last year for lakefront property owners, offering mats measuring 250 square feet at an annual cost of $50 per mat (20 cents per square foot) with a limit of two mats per property owner. The fee included installation, removal, pickup and storage of the mats by the town.
The 2014 rental program revision increased the rental fee to $75 per mat (30 cents per square foot) with a four mat limit per property owner.
Forty-three mats were rented in 2013, and 34 already have been reserved for this year, Zupan said. The town has 175 total mats available to rent for 2014.
Town residents interested in renting benthic mats should contact Barbara Howland, secretary to the town supervisor, at 655-9541 or email@example.com.
The town board is also moving forward with plans to treat 176 acres of Cazenovia Lake with the chemical herbicide Renovate (triclopyr) this year. The town applied Renovate in 2009, 2010 and 2012, but not in 2013. The results of a 2013 Cazenovia Lake aquatic plant survey, released in January, showed that milfoil more than doubled in the number of locations where it was found from 2012 to 2013, and one-third of all the milfoil in the lake were medium to dense in abundance.
Since February, the town board has been working its way through the state Department of Environmental Conservation herbicide approval process. It adopted a positive declaration for the State Environmental Quality Review of the proposed Renovate treatments and prepared a supplemental environmental impact statement for the treatments. It also adopted a draft scoping document which will describe the potential action to be taken — in this case, chemical herbicide treatment of the lake — the potential significant adverse impacts, the environmental analyses of existing conditions and potential impacts and reasonable alternatives to be considered.
As part of the continued approval process, the town board has scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. Friday, April 25, to discuss the final supplemental environmental impact statement. It also scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. Monday, May 5, to discuss the potential adoption of a findings statement and to take environmental action.
The proposed chemical treatment schedule is currently late May or early June.
For more information on the proposed chemical treatment of Cazenovia Lake, including all the environmental impact statements and documents, visit the town website at townofcazenovia.org and click on the “Caz Lake Restoration” tab.
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.