Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Greenwood Lake Bi-State Commission meeting was held on Wed., Jan. 25 at the Hillcrest Community Center in West Milford, NJ. Chairperson Paul Zarillo announced that the agreement with Downes Tree Service to complete stump removal in Greenwood Lake has been cancelled due to weather conditions an lack of ice in the lake.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had given the commission $84,350 for the removal of an estimated 1,000 hazardous tree stumps on the New Jersey side of the lake. Peter Downes from Downes Tree Service had said at the previous meeting that the lake needed to be sufficiently frozen to take the weight of their stump grinding equipment. Zarillo explained that Downes Tree Service would have needed about three to four inches of ice.
Bid for Tree Stump Removal to Reopen
“I have been in touch with the DEP I have been told that if we go out on another bid the money is still there for this project. We will go to bid for companies that can reduce the stumps under the water,” said Zarillo.
He then announced that the bidding process will start on Wed., Feb. 22. The deadline for sending in the bids is Fri., Mar. 17. Bids will be opened on Wed., Mar. 22 at 7.30 p.m. and the names will be announced at the regular meeting.
At a special meeting to be held on Fri., Mar. 31 the winner will hopefully be announced. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has ordered that no stump removal work be done during the fish spawning season, which lasts from Mar. 15 to Jun. 15. Stump removal work should take place from Jun. 19 to Aug. 18.
Eric Pain, the representative from the Division of Fish and Wildlife who has been in control of the outflow of the drawdown of Greenwood Lake, reported that the level of the lake was at six feet and nine inches. He said that it was up one foot and five inches since the end of the drawdown on Jan. 1 when the lake was at five feet and four inches. Zarillo commended Eric and his team for their efforts.
Martin Brand, commissioner and representative from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), reported that the New York side had received a total of 39 approved permits, of which only four permits had been sent back to the applicants. The permits were sent back for review in instances where the application was incomplete or the project was considered too big.
Invasive Species Response & Control Grant
Commissioner Brand reported that the New York DEC has announced that there is a total of two million dollars available in grant money for New York State for invasive species response and control. The grants are given at a minimum of $11,000 each however 50 percent has to be paid back.
Brand said, “In Greenwood Lake I believe there are water chestnuts and eurasian milfoil, which are both considered highly invasive species.”
The next Commission meeting will be held on Wed., Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Greenwood Lake Senior Center, located at 132 Windermere Ave. in Greenwood Lake.