by Nicole Reitz
New York State Senator Patty Ritchie has obtained $200,000 to put towards the Lake Neatahwanta cleanup effort. The sum will be split between the City of Fulton and the Town of Granby.
Cleaning up the lake is not a quick fix, however. There are many rules and regulations to follow. Two committees, Fulton’s Lake Reclamation Project Committee and Granby’s Lake Neatahwanta Reclamation Committee, are raising money to fund needed tests and applying for DEC permits.
Granby Supervisor Ed Williamson said he met with the DEC in November.
The dredging of the lake will not happen until the DEC issues their permits. If the permits do go through, dredging can begin in as little as two months. The DEC could only issue one permit between the town and city.
“We’re trying to raise money aside from the senator’s money to buy the dredge,” said Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward.
Cleaning would begin on the Granby side along the south end of the west side because it is the most accessible spot. Woodward said that the city has carved out a 300-by-300-foot section to start with.
The project, with all of its various components, will be expensive. It will not be covered with the money received from the senator. There are a lot of costs involved besides obtaining the dredge machine. The machine alone holds 150 gallons of fuel.
The city will need to pay for core sample evaluations. Core samples of lake sediment must be taken from different areas of the lake and then tested to find out what exactly the dredges will be taking out of the water. Disposing of the waste may be tricky because the materials that lie within the lake may be harmful.
“There are all kinds of stories about what is in the lake,” said Williamson.
Williamson noted that SUNY ESF professor of biology and chemistry Gregory Boyer will take samples of the silt itself. Boyer’s team tests the water every Thursday and gives the supervisor a report. This type of research couldn’t be done when there was still ice left on the lake.
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