MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Legislature will be voting on a resolution later this week to allocate $25,870 from the County’s 2 percent Occupancy Tax Funding Reserve to help clean up Burtis Bay on Chautauqua Lake.
The proposed allocation is due to a large deposit of aquatic vegetation that has gathered in the bay, leading to a large volume of fish dying in that area due to suffocation.
The situation was first reported earlier this month by a local resident to the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Board of Directors – who then inspected the area with other county officials along with representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
To address the issue, the County plans to have the Chautauqua Lake Association remobilize its fleet to do a shoreline and near-shore cleanup of floating vegetation along the Bay. However, CLA officials have since said that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to clear out the weeds until the spring, due to winter-like temperatures and conditions now settling in on the lake.
“The CLA and all lake residents are grateful for County Executive George Borrello and the County Legislature for their quick consideration of collaborating on this grant,” said CLA President Paul O. Stage in a recent media release. “At this point, however, given the early onset of winter and its resultant physical conditions impacts we must delay in returning to the bay; the CLA will be ready to start work in Burtis Bay as soon as possible in the spring.”
In addition to the $25,870 that would be contributed by Chautauqua County, the remainder of the cost is anticipated to be covered by funds from local foundations. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation offered to contribute $28,000 in funding and the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation offered to repurpose previous grant funds to the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance to contribute $20,000 toward the project.