Ellicott Sets Meeting On Lake Issues

FALCONER — Concerns regarding the condition of Chautauqua Lake along the shores in the town of Ellicott are expected to be discussed during a special meeting of the Town Board on Monday.

Patrick McLaughlin, Ellicott town supervisor, said the idea to hold the special meeting came after area residents expressed frustration over the quality of the lake. The meeting will be held Monday at 4 p.m. next to the Town Hall at 215 S. Work St.

“We’re not blind as to the condition of the lake,” McLaughlin said, noting that of the 8,000 residents in the town, about 120 to 130 live on the lake. “I can’t scientifically say why this has been such a bad year for weed growth and algal blooms. It just seems like this year everything was worse.”

McLaughlin, who lives in the Burtis Bay area, said the lake condition near his home is the “worst I’ve ever seen it.”

Town officials decided to hold a special meeting in lieu of trying to have dozens of area residents discuss their concerns during a regular board meeting. McLaughlin said he looks forward to hearing from the residents regarding potential ideas to combat the lake problem.

The Town Board in June approved herbicide treatment on the lake. However, due to the $30,000 cost, the treatment did not take place near the town.

McLaughlin said he is preparing to put together the town’s 2019 tentative budget. He noted that funding for potential herbicide treatment in the future is not guaranteed, especially with legal costs associated with the proposed annexation of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities substation on Dow Street. The substation is currently located in the village of Falconer in the town of Ellicott along the city border.

The town of Ellicott, village of Falconer and the Falconer Central School District have expended more than $175,000 on the annexation case against the city of Jamestown.

“The outcome of the case will be a huge factor,” McLaughlin said of funding for other projects. “As for homeowners … I understand what kind of shape the lake is in. I empathize with them and everything they’re saying.”

The town supervisor said he understands the concerns of local residents who want town officials to “step up to the plate.”

“If I had (the money) to spend, I would,” McLaughlin said, noting that it should be up to the state to resolve lake issues and not local municipalities. “If residents have ideas on how the town might be able to help we will hear it.”

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