Lake Hopatcong Commission Meeting – Still Awaiting Funding – Ready to get Tough on Zoning

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On January 13, 2019, the Lake Hopatcong Commission got underway for the start of 2020. During the meeting Princeton Hydro provided a detailed presentation with 2020 monitoring recommendations, State Funding was discussed, and the commission is looking to get stricter on Zoning and build-up around Lake Hopatcong.

Highlights of the Meeting: (Watch the Video)

Funding Still an Issue:

2020 LHC 01 13 2020 Movie CoverAs the meeting started the treasurer reported a current balance of $138,000 for the Commission as they head into 2020 and another year of possible HABs.

Since it would appear that the legislative assistance for Lake Hopatcong that started in 2019 ($4 Million for Lake Hopatcong), will not pass the New Jersey Legislature during the Lame Duck session, the Lake Hopatcong Commission still needs to survive on their annual $500,000 budget. Since weed harvesting takes $355,000 annual to operate, this will leave only $145,000 to help the actual lake.

The commission is now hoping to get more funding through Grants and from the DEP in the Spring of 2020. Otherwise, they may need to explore ways of self-funding.

Budget Committee Suggestions:

  • Recommend hiring a City Planner that would cover all four towns to help create stricter rules on the construction and build-up around the lake.
  • Recommend hiring a Storm Water Facilities manager, that would work with all four towns on the cleaning and maintenance of the stormwater systems.

Ice Retardant Systems:

The commission is preparing a draft ordinance for the four-towns based upon the Hopatcong existing ordinance. The draft will be presented to the four mayors during the next meeting with the towns towards the end of January. A mention of an article called Ice Safety that was published by the Knee Deep Club that can be found here.

Wood Plaque for the Train Station:

In recognition of the restoration of the Train Station, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation was presented a wood plaque that read Lackawanna Railroad.

Updates to the Commission:

Lake Hopatcong Foundation:

  • The LHF has filed the EPA Grant discussed during the last several meeting for $990,000. The final document was a collective effort and will take about 6-months before the results are known.
  • The LHF has assisted in getting the DEP to consider alternatives to having to put 1/3 cash up to qualify for HAB grants.
  • The Lake Hopatcong Commission will be filing a $500,000 grant with the DEP within the next two weeks to seek funding for the four-towns short-term projects.
  • Morris & Sussex Counties have both pledged $25,000 towards the cash-match requirements, and each of the four-towns are assumed to fund an additional $15,000 each.
  • The LHF along with members from Greenwood and Deal Lakes have written a whitepaper that will be presented to the DEP, on how HABs should be handled in the future.
  • The LHF held multiple successful events last month and have the upcoming Winter Education Programs scheduled for January - March.
  • The Block Party is currently taking registration from returning vendors only, February will mark the start of taking open registration.

Princeton Hydro:

  • Provided a very detailed presentation on the full 2019 Water Monitoring Data that was collected, and the trends over the past 30-years of data that is available.
  • The conclusion of the presentation included several recommended sampling actions to be taken in 2020.
  • The questions from the board members and audience also touched on multiple subjects, such as Aeration, Lake Mohawk and a review of why the 2019 HABs occurred.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP):

  • The repair of the harvesters continues, the lake is still in the drawdown phase until the spring.

The following Resolutions Passed:

  • RES 20-01 Meeting Dates
  • RES 20-02 Official News Paper
  • RES 20-03 DEP Grant Match
  • RES 20-04 Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Approval
  • RES 20-05 Audit Agreement
  • RES 20-06 Liability Insurance
  • RES 20-07 Director’s and Officer’s Insurance
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