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

— 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 bhowland@townofcazenovia.org.

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.

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