Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Greenwood Lake Commission meeting was held on Wed., Feb. 22 at the Greenwood Lake Senior Center. Commissioner Eric Pain from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.C.) provided the latest update on the drawdown. Pain was in control of the outflow of Greenwood Lake during the drawdown and reported that when the drawdown began in October, the level of the lake was nine feet and five inches.
When the drawdown ended on Jan. 1, the level was five feet and four inches. The total level of water that had been drawn down was four feet and one inch. At the January Commission meeting, Pain reported a lake level of six feet and nine inches and since then, the lake has risen a further one foot and half an inch. The drawdown of Greenwood Lake was originally scheduled to end on Feb. 15 but the D.E.C. ordered an early end to the drawdown due to the lack of precipitation in the area.
Future Improvements to the Drawdown Plan
Commissioner Pain provided suggestions for improvements to the Greenwood Lake Commission’s Drawdown Management Plan for the future. He said that during the drawdown he had time to review the commission’s plan compared to a neighboring lake’s plan. One of the improvements that Eric suggested was providing the plan with more scientific support, such as information determining whether the drawdown has any affect on invasive aquatic species.
Pain suggested that the plan offer more specificity on the drawdown starting and ending dates. He also suggested adding to the plan the procedure for applying for permits and a training in ethics compliance for all Commission members as well as filling out a questionnaire on outside employment.
Stump Removal Project
The New Jersey D.E.P. gave the Commission $84,350 for the removal of an estimated 1,000 hazardous tree stumps on the New Jersey side of the lake. The commission has opened the stump removal project for bidding. Commission Co-Chair Paul Zarrillo said that bids are due by Wed., Mar. 22 and only one person showed up at the initial bid meeting. Zarrillo commented that a tremendous amount of effort had gone into properties around the lake during the drawdown and that the timeframe was adequate in terms of improvements around the lake.
A boat license course will be offered on Sun., May. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Milford Airport, located at 126 Airport Rd. in West Milford, NJ.
During Public Comment, Upper Greenwood Lake resident, Jim Jones, commended the Commission, saying that the public awareness about the drawdown was excellent. He also commented that he has a lot of experience in stump removal.
The next Commission meeting will be held on Wed., Mar. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Hillcrest Community Center, Room 10, located at 1810 Macopin Rd. in West Milford, NJ.