Town Board purchases weed harvester for lake, moves forward on chemical treatment plan

— 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.

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