Story by A.J. Arias
Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer attended the Greenwood Lake Commission meeting held on Wed., Jun. 27 to address the lack of notification to the Village of the goose round up that occurred around the lake on Jun. 27.
Dwyer said that the Village of Greenwood Lake Police Department received several phone calls from concerned citizens between 5 and 10 a.m. when USDA officials appeared on private property to round up the birds for a project sponsored by the Greenwood Lake Commission.
Dwyer reported that when the Village of Greenwood Lake carried out its herbicide project on Tues., Jun. 26, he reached out to 10 different media outlets in order to promote the exact date of the cleanup and its resulting impact.
Paul Zarrillo, Co-chair of the Greenwood Lake Commission, commented that a notification was sent out to the Village stating that the event was occurring at the end of June. He added that he was awaiting confirmation from the USDA before putting out a notification with an exact date.
The commissioners were notified about the exact date of the round up about 12 hours before it occurred, according to Zarrillo. It was later learned that Micki Lees, the commissioner representing the Village, was never notified due to an apparent email issue.
There was some disagreement, heated at times, between Zarrillo and Dwyer with regards to communication between the commission and the Village as well as which entity “manages” the lake.
Dwyer closed his remarks by stating that in the future more effective communication regarding projects would be beneficial to everyone.
Greenwood Lake Commission Addresses Impacts of Montclair State Research Study
During her monthly report, Micki Lees mentioned the spread of rumors regarding pollution in Greenwood Lake following an article that appeared in the Apr. 4, 2018 edition of the Warwick Valley Dispatch. The article covered a presentation given by Montclair State University outlining the results of a three year study that took place on the lake. The study found some alarming statistics about the lake, especially around Belcher’s Creek, near West Milford, NJ.
Lees would like the Commission to issue a statement. She feels the statement should not only address the rumors regarding pollution in the lake, but what the Commission is doing about it.
Zarrillo believes that there is no way to manage all the rumors being spread on social media and that if anyone has any questions about what the Commission is doing, they can refer to the Commission’s press releases and/or its website.
With regards to Belcher’s Creek, Zarrillo said that the Commission is aware of the issue and that the group is in need of proper funding in order to address it.
Commissioner Eric Hastings said that 60 percent of the lake’s pollution comes from Belcher’s Creek, adding that a grassroots effort has stopped many of the pollutants from going into the lake, particularly those coming from raw sewage.
Commissioner Clint Smith, a representative from the New Jersey end of the Lake, doesn’t believe sewage was ever the issue in Belcher’s Creek and added that the lake is the cleanest it has been in years. However, Smith reported he has plans for the Belcher’s Creek area but when pressed by Zarrillo, he declined to go into exact detail.
Several Commissioners had raised doubts about the study’s results, stating the possibility of a false readings.
Montclair State University, which has performed studies on the lake for four consecutive years, will conduct its next study in September.
The Greenwood Lake Commission will hold their next meeting on Wed., Jul. 25 at 7 p.m. at the West Milford Library, located at 1470 Union Valley Rd. in West Milford, NJ.