Approved Law Looks To Reduce Lake Runoff

CHAUTAUQUA – Reducing the runoff of phosphates into Chautauqua Lake is the expected result of town of Chautauqua Local Law No. 1 unanimously adopted by the town board following a public hearing earlier this month.

Titled, “Stormwater (sic) Management, Erosion and Sediment Control Management in the Town of Chautauqua,” the proposed law drew no public comment during the hearing held before the board voted.

Town Supervisor Don Emhardt summed up the measure by saying, “What we’ve been telling people to do, we can say, yeah, now you have to legally do.”

The measure resulted, Emhardt said, from working with the Inter-Municipal Committee on Lake Chautauqua.

“We’ve got a pile of those,” Emhardt commented about various studies and reports about lake pollution.

Interviewed after the law was approved, Dave Wilson Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District representative explained phosphates attach to soil and sediment and, without controls, settles into the lake. Thus, he said, the town’s latest local law and other related measures are aimed at limiting phosphate pollution of the lake.

It has long been known phosphates make the lake hospitable for plants and weeds, a decades-long problem for Lake Chautauqua water management. Phosphates are part of various fertilizer mixes commonly used in agriculture and gardens.

Local Law No. 2, designed to bring the town bidding process into conformity with New York state requirements, was also unanimously adopted. No one appeared at the public hearing on the new law, which, according to Supervisor Emhardt, is designed to help determine “the most responsible bidder” when awarding contracts.

Fees for fire and safety inspections of hotels and motels in the town will be waived for one year because of board approval at the session.

“It (the fees) just hasn’t worked out,” Emhardt said.

Most hotels and motels are now volunteering for the inspection, Emhardt told the board. After the meeting, he explained the small fees were designed to encourage voluntary inspections since they only applied if the subject property was inspected without requesting it.