LAKEWOOD - With a wheelbarrow full of weeds and Chautauqua Lake behind them, two state lawmakers announced Thursday that they have secured another $50,000 for weed harvesting.
The money, which matches state funding earlier this year, will be used by the Chautauqua Lake Association to get a third harvesting machine on the lake.
"We have a load of weeds right in front of us," said state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, who was joined by Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, three county legislators and Chris Yates, CLA president.
From left, Chautauqua Lake Association President Chris Yates, Chautauqua County Legislator PJ Wendel, Sen. Catharine Young, Chautauqua County Legislator Fred Croscut and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell pose during a press conference Thursday announcing the procurement of $50,000 in additional lake cleanup funding.
"There's a lot more work that needs to be done," Young continued. "So I'm very pleased to announce today that Assemblyman Goodell and I secured another $50,000 from New York state to go toward cleanup of Chautauqua Lake.
"We felt this was a very emergent situation that needed to be addressed."
Goodell said it was important to protect the lake, noting the amount of revenue it brings in to the county through tourism.
"The funding that we are announcing today ... doubles the state funding that has initially been provided to the lake association," Goodell said. "I'm also happy to see the county legislators here today because it's he county legislators who also have stepped up to the plate in a big way at a time when it's extremely difficult in the county in terms of their budget."
Goodell said visitors to the county spent about $171 million last year, and noted that the lake is a major source of tourism for the local economy.
The funding, which according to Young and Goodell came from "numerous sources" within the state budget, comes a week after the County Legislature OK'd a $80,000 appropriation to the CLA. The lake association must match $20,000 to receive the funding.
The local share payment will come from the county's fund balance ($50,000) and a portion of the county's 2 percent occupancy tax ($30,000), the latter of which will deplete the emergency fund.
According to Yates, a third harvesting machine could be on the water by next week, although he said personnel will need to be secured.
"We look forward to getting that equipment out there to get to work," he said.