Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Greenwood Lake Bi-State Commission met on Wed., Jun. 29 and the first item they discussed was the drawdown of the lake. Commissioner Eric Pain, the representative from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.), reported that he was working on a plan for the two-foot drawdown.
The Commission’s drawdown at present takes place every four years, the last of which took place at the end of 2016. Pain said that he was waiting to speak with the Geoscience and Water Quality Divisions and the Fish and Wildlife Division of the N.J. D.E.P. before submitting his proposal for the plan.
Pain reported that the level of the lake was now at nine feet and eleven inches. He said that there is a still water going over the top of the dam and there is discussion about closing the dam. He expressed hesitation about closing the dam due to the lack of staff resources at this time of year.
New Jersey Meeting Location Change
Paul Zarrillo, the New Jersey co-chair of the Commission, announced a new meeting location in New Jersey. Meetings are held alternating months in New York and in New Jersey and the new location in NJ is the West Milford Library, located at 1470 Union Valley Road in West Milford.
New Boat Launch Open
Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer announced that the new boat launch will open for the summer season on Sat., Jul. 8. There will be an official ribbon cutting when the weeds are down. The boat launch, located at the corner of Old Dutch Hollow Rd. and Mountain Lakes Ln., will be available for kayaks, paddleboats and canoes but nothing motorized. A suggestion was made that boats coming from a different lake should be washed first and Dwyer responded that a list of rules will be posted.
G.L. Village Looking for Weed Harvester
Mayor Dwyer also said that the Village put down herbicide (Aquathol-K), permitted by the Department of Environmental Conservation, in Greenwood Lake on Wed., Jun. 28. The areas treated were the west cove (Defeo’s Marina and north) as well as north of the 17A Bridge but further added that they cannot go near the wetlands.
Dwyer said that the Village has four weed harvesters that are not in good working order and cannot be fixed. He asked if the Commission knew where he could borrow a harvester.
Paul Zarrillo reported that Mt. Clair University will present a report on their research project on Greenwood Lake at the commission’s next meeting.
The commission discussed where they would house the company doing the stump reduction project, which is scheduled to take place during the first week in August 2017. The company that won the bid to do the stump reduction is Siltbusters Dredging Service, LLC from Georgia and they will be reducing approximately 1,000 to 1,200 stumps/floating stumps.
During public comment a resident complained about the quality of the water and weeds at Belcher’s Creek on the New Jersey side of the lake. The commissioners acknowledged that Belcher’s creek is in terrible condition, worse than the north and south arms of the lake.
Boat Licensing Courses
The next boat licensing courses will be held on Sun., Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Milford Airport, located at 126 Airport Rd. in West Milford.
Free Vessel Safety Check
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will sponsor a free vessel safety check on Sun., Jul. 16 and Sun., Aug. 20 at the Sportsmans Marina, located at 330 Lakeside Rd. in Hewitt, NJ. For more information call the Commission at (973) 506-7800 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next meeting of the Commission will be held on Wed., Jul. 26 at 7 p.m. at the West Milford Library, located at 1470 Union Valley Rd. in West Milford, NJ.