By Jason Emerson
The Cazenovia Town Board is gearing up for the 2017 spring and summer season by approving a number of measures that affect the health and recreational use of Cazenovia Lake.
During its April 10 regular monthly meeting, the board authorized its annual actions for lake weed treatments and for allowing free access to the lake through the village boat launch to town residents.
Specifically, the board:
• Agreed to contract with Solitude Lake Management (formerly Allied Biological) to apply the herbicide Renovate to Cazenovia Lake to treat Eurasian Water Milfoil at a cost not to exceed $281,934. The town is applying for permits to treat 250 acres of lake area with Renovate, with treatment to begin in May or early June.
• Authorized the town supervisor to contract with Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists to survey Cazenovia Lake in September and October of this year for aquatic plant species using the rake-toss method at a cost not to exceed $9,000. This is a survey the town board contracts for every year. The results of the rake-toss survey will be provided to the town no later than Nov. 1, 2017.
• Approved the annual fees and rules for the installation and use of benthic barrier mats by lakeside property owners. For the town’s Benthic Mat Rental Program, which has been offered for the past four years as one way to manage excessive weed growth in Cazenovia Lake, the board contracted again with Windsong Farm to install the mats and maintained the mat rental fees at $85 dollars per mat, with a four mat limit per property owner.
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.
• Authorized the sale of the town’s 2003 weed harvester (which was replaced by the purchase of a new weed harvester in 2016) at a price of $12,000. The proceeds will be placed in the general fund of the town budget, and is intended for paying down the municipal lease for the original purchase of this harvester.
• Approved an inter-municipal agreement with the village to allow town residents to apply for village boat launch use permits free of charge for the 2017 season.
More information on town lake health activities can be found on the town website at townofcazenovia.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.