By A.J. Arias
Due to economic losses caused by the COVID–19 pandemic, Orange County’s $20,000 annual funding to the Greenwood Lake Commission has been placed on hold. The loss of the expected funds has caused the Commission to rework several of their projects and begin looking for ways to cut costs.
Commissioner John Graham, representing the Village of Greenwood Lake, and Commissioner Kelly Tuturro, representing the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), are working together with the Village to get Greenwood Lake into the New York DEC’s Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP).
The program would allow for regular citizens to use professional equipment, provided by the DEC, to test the lake’s water levels. Graham said that the plan was for the Village DPW workers to use the equipment to collect water samples, the samples would then be sent back to the labs for professional readings.
The program is unfortunately full for 2020, according to Tuturro, but the two are now working on getting the lake into the program for 2021. Admittance into the program can save funds for the Commission by reducing payments made to outside labs for testing and the results from the DEC can be used for acquiring grant money for projects on the lake.
Selling Study Result Data
Commissioner Graham is also working on partnering with Thayegate.ai to put together data from the results of past studies done on Greenwood Lake. Graham said once the data is properly compiled together it could then be sold to other labs and groups across the country that are working on harmful algal blooms (HABs).
Graham said the data on the lake is very valuable in the quest for more knowledge to combat HABs in lakes across the country. Graham and Tuturro will finalize details of the contract before submitting a memorandum to the Orange County Industrial Development Agency in reference to working with Thayergate.ai.
G.L. Projects in Question
Last month the Greenwood Lake Commission agreed to provide $20,000 to the Village of Greenwood Lake for a number of projects on the lake. This commitment was made prior to the hold on funds from Orange County. The Commission agreed to speak “offline” about the future of the commitment in light of the funding circumstances.
Commission Looks into Texting for Spreading Information
Larry Collins and Shiel Patel from TextForLess, a mass text messaging system, presented to the Commissioners a way to provide information to the community via text message. The service would allow the Commission, for only a few cents per text, get information out to the community around the lake with regards to a number of different topics such as stump locations, HABs, and upcoming events. The Commission did not make a decision on the texting system during the meeting.
The next meeting of the Greenwood Lake Commission will take place on a Zoom Conference call on Wed., June 24, at 7 p.m. Check the Greenwood Lake Commission website for additional meeting details at www.GWLC.org.
Members of the Greenwood Lake Commission meet for their monthly meeting on May 27. Pictured (top, from left) are: Allison Wagner, Paul Zarrillo, Floyd DeAngelo, Kelly Tuturro, George Vurno, John Graham, Paul Sullivan, & Dale VanNimwegen.