Ellery Town Board Makes Appointments, Talks Water Quality

BEMUS POINT – The Ellery Town Board appointed individuals to two positions during Thursday evening’s board meeting.

With the resignation of Robert Lucas as fire and building inspector, the board appointed Zoning Officer Robert Samuelson to the position. Town Supervisor Arden Johnson asked if he was ready to take on the challenge. Samuelson responded by saying, “I am.”

“Robert has a year to be certified and I’m not worried about that too much because he’s been in the building business for many years,” Johnson said. “I think he can handle it very well.”

The appointment then left an opening for the zoning officer position. Anne Golliy agreed to step in and take on duties. Johnson mentioned how busy she was already handling peoples’ questions.

“I’m sure she’ll handle them and do a great job,” Johnson said.

With the issues of blue-green algae and water clarity increasing, county Legislator Pierre Chagnon said the Water Quality Task Force has been investigating into what’s happening with the recommended strategies reducing phosphorus entering the lake. Chagnon believes that assisting property owners to install erosion control practices , both before and after soil disturbances, should be encouraged and increased.

“One of the things that presents itself is the number of farms in the watershed participating in the Agricultural Environmental Program,” Chagnon said. “That can significantly be increased.”

He also noted that septic tanks in the watershed could be surveyed and tested. That way, septic tanks that are failing can be evaluated. Chagnon announced that a Conservation and Water Quality Field Day will be held Aug. 25. The county soil and water district is putting on a demonstration on some projects done to help water quality. They will demonstrate at three sites in the north end of the lake where they conduct water conservation. Presentations include stream bank stabilization, shoreline restoration and agricultural water quality practices.

“It’s a good opportunity for the soil and water conservation district to demonstrate what they do,” Chagnon said.

Celebrate the Lake Breakfast is another event that will be held at the Village Casino Aug. 23. Organized by the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Alliance, the event will have several experts giving talks on the ongoing efforts protecting the lake.

“We’ll have people talking about algae, buffers and studies on the sewer system around the lake,” Chagnon said. “It should be a good event to learn about what’s going on.”