County Legislature Approves Funding

The Chautauqua County Legislature unanimously approved $30,000 for herbicide application in Burtis Bay during its voting session in Mayville Wednesday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua County Legislature has unanimously approved funding $30,000 for herbicide application in Burtis Bay.

On Wednesday, the legislature approved the resolution during its regular monthly meeting.

The governing body also approved $35,000 that goes toward funding the third-party, independent monitor of the herbicide application in Chautauqua Lake.

The combined $65,000 in funding will be appropriated out of the occupancy tax reserve fund.

Prior to the vote, three county residents spoke against the use of occupancy tax funds for the herbicide treatment in Burtis Bay. Peter Wiemer, We Wan Chu Cottages owner in Mayville, said he is against the use of herbicides because of the chemicals used — Aquathol K and Navigate.

Navigate’s primary ingredient is 2, 4-D. While the evidence isn’t clear in the scientific community to pinpoint 2, 4-D as a cancer-causing agent, some local residents are wary about using the substance.

Mike Butler of West Ellicott said he is a fisherman who has caught fish that have been negatively exposed to the herbicides. He showed the legislature two pictures, one of a fish with a healthy liver and another he alleges has been negatively impacted by herbicides.

Jane Conroe of Bemus Point said the herbicide application didn’t go by two reports – Memorandum of Agreement and the Chautauqua Lake Macrophyte Management Strategy –the county funded to have created to detail how chemicals should be used in the lake.

Prior to voting, Mark Odell, R-Brocton, said he appreciates the quick work of the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance in making a plan and hiring a third-party, independent monitor.

Last week, the county announced contracting with Princeton Hydro to provide monitoring of herbicide treatments.

Odell said there will be a monitoring report released later this year that will detail what the lake was like prior to, during and after the herbicide application.

In other business, the legislature also approved funding $10,000 from the 3 percent occupancy tax reserve fund for the newly formed Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore, which used to be the Bemus Bay Pops.

The only no vote on the resolution was from Frank J. Gould, R-Ashville, who said he doesn’t believe the organization should receive county funding just for moving from Bemus Point to its new location in Mayville.

Elisabeth Rankin, R-Jamestown, said she approves of the resolution because the Pops promote tourism by bringing in tourists from throughout the region.