CLA Needs To Do Better

To The Reader’s Forum:

I recently had occasion to attend the special town of Ellicott meeting held on Sept. 24. My purpose in being there was to lend support to our fellow lake advocates in the Fluvanna, Burtis Bay and Celoron areas. That meeting’s discussion dealt with the serious, invasive weed-infested conditions in that lower lake area and the CLA’s inability to adequately maintain the lake in any reasonably usable condition. The meeting concluded with a recommendation by the residents that the town of Ellicott support a program in 2019 of herbicide permit applications subject to DEC oversight combined with harvesting.

A short time earlier, on Sept. 13, I had attended a meeting of the town of Ellery board. That meeting was also attended by the CLA’s board president who commented, during a presentation, that the condition of the lake this summer was “awesome,” but that there were a “few issues below Sheldon Hall.”

As I sat in the town of Ellicott meeting, two main thoughts occurred to me:

¯ The CLA does not publicly recognize the severity of the current conditions in the far southern end of the lake; and

¯ The proposal to the town of Ellicott should be combined with similar proposals to the town of Ellery for the area below Sheldon Hall and to the town of Busti/Lakewood for the area along the opposite shore for the lake’s 2019 management plan. I believe such action would be most effective for dealing, in the near term, with this area of most critical need. I, like many others, believe that the deteriorating water quality conditions in a number of areas of the lake have far exceeded the CLA’s ability to deal with them within their current limited-scope, harvesting-only management plan.

On Aug. 3 this summer, WGRZ, Buffalo’s NBC affiliate, was in town to report on the new Harbor Hotel and improvements in the village of Celoron. The crew also reported on the lake’s condition offshore which included questioning of CLA’s executive director. His televised response comments included the following: “If the water doesn’t look like something you would want to swim in, don’t swim in it.” Clearly, the CLA needs more enlightened and forward-thinking leadership. All of the lake residents and other stakeholders deserve better.

R. Craig Butler

Bemus Point

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