The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that that the Town of Ellery won’t sign be signing the MOA presented by Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello last month. The unwillingness to sign the document is primarily due to it restricting herbicide treatment to only the southern basin of the lake during the next two years. A portion of the Town borders the northern basin of the lake and Ellery officials say residents may want to treat that area with herbicide if weeds get bad during the summer months.
Of the 16 agencies and municipalities that were requested to sign the MOA, Ellery is the only one that will not. Even the Chautauqua Lake Partnership, which voiced reservations earlier this month, eventually signed off on the document.
Borrello has already said that the MOA will not be altered or changed for at least the first two years it is in place. But he did say it could be changed in 2021 following a review by stakeholders and the county.
Ellery’s unwillingness to sign the MOA also jeopardizes their chances of receiving outside funding for lake management efforts they endorse. That’s because Borrello had said that organizations should sign off on the MOA if they wish to qualify for funding.
“Any funding from the county, and from many of the local foundations, for efforts dealing with in-lake projects will flow through the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance. The executive board of the Alliance has preliminary agreed to only fund those organizations who participate in the Consensus Strategy by the signing the Memorandum of Understanding,” Borrello said during his State of the County Address in February.
The consensus strategy was developed through a collaboration of the County Executive’s Office, Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Development, representatives from the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), and the consulting firm, Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E).
A copy of the MOA, along with the 24 tenets, is available on the County Executive’s website.