Monday, December 15, 2014, 7 p.m.
Mt. Arlington Borough Hall
A summary of key items discussed by the Lake Hopatcong Commission:
-The commission approved payment to Princeton Hydro LLC toward the DEP 319(h) grant that is currently being administered by the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, toward water quality improvement. (Water quality monitoring and the floating wetland island project are part of this grant.)
-A dock committee has been established to evaluate the current dock regulations and determine how to approach evolving situations, such as floating docks. The committee will use data about current dock statistics, generated by a team at Drew University in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. They expect to have their first meeting in January, where they will discuss the interpretation of the current code, implementation, and enforcement. Members include Dan Bello of the State Park Service, Fred Steinbaum of the Lake Hopatcong Commission, among others from the towns and counties around the lake. Several positions are still vacant; anyone interested should contact Bello at Hopatcong State Park. The committee will meet once a month until their efforts are complete. “This will be a chance for people to be heard on the subject,” commission chairman Russ Felter said.
-Bello reported that the weed harvester maintenance continues and the staff hope to have a parts list within two weeks.
-The annual 26-inch drawdown was generally on schedule; see the state’s Water Level Management Plan for details.
-There was some discussion on the long-term funding of the weed harvest. Felter said nothing was for certain yet and mentioned that there were two funds being considered for funding the annual harvest. “I don’t want to conjecture because it’s up in the air right now,” he said. Commissioner Dan McCarthy wondered whether the annual agreement with the state regarding ownership of the harvesters should be passed considering the funding questions; Felter said he thought it was a great partnership, and “we have to move ahead as if the funding will be there.” The commission passed renewal of the agreement unanimously.
-On that note, LHF president Jessica K. Murphy read the Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s testimony to the state regarding the need for the state to not abdicate its role in funding the annual weed harvest.
-Earl Riley of the Lake Musconetcong Regional Planning Board thanked the LHC for cooperation and assistance through the lending of a small weed harvester during the summer of 2014, when they were able to remove 110,000 pounds of weeds.
-The commission plans to send out a press release regarding the proper use of ice eaters on Lake Hopatcong to ensure the lake is as safe as possible for those who enjoy winter recreation.
-The commission is working to update the LHC website to get it up to date and more user-friendly.