Cleaning Up Burtis Bay Mess Is A Welcome Sight For Residents

Kudos to the Chautauqua County Legislature, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Sheldon Foundation for finding funding to clean up the weeds and dead fish that have littered Burtis Bay for the past two weeks.

The county will allocate $25,870 from the county’s 2 percent Occupancy Tax Funding Reserve while the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is contributing $28.000 and the Sheldon Foundation is repurposing a previously allocated $20,000 toward the cleanup. The $78,870 will be disbursed to the Chautauqua Lake Watershed and Management Alliance and then paid to the Chautauqua Lake Association to clean up the area from the baseball field in Burtis Bay to the Ellicott Shores Apartments and alongside the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel.

County legislators still have to approve the county’s part of the funding, and we hope they do so at Wednesday’s meeeting.

It is good news for Burtis Bay area residents that the mess will be cleaned up, but we hope this is a learning effort for all of the groups involved. There will be, from time to time, unforeseen cleanup activities on Chautauqua Lake when nature’s wrath wreaks havoc on the lake and its shorelines. Lake agencies should be able to respond quickly to these situations, much like emergency services officials have procedures to follow when emergencies strike. The response to the Burtis Bay cleanup felt harried. If an agency isn’t empowered to deal quickly with these issues, as we suggested last week, perhaps it’s time for all of the various lake agencies to follow an emergency services model so that residents can see these situations dealt with expeditiously.