During the March 1, 2017, meeting the Lake Hopatcong Foundation updated the Hopatcong Borough Council on major projects that included; Water Levels, Weeds, Trails, 2017 Block Party and several other major topics.
Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF):
Martin Kane and Donna Macalle-Holly spoke on behalf of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, as part of their normal schedule to update the Council at least once every six months.
“This is the fifth year now for the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, and there are always two things you hear from people, the water level, and the weeds.” Stated Marty Kane.
1. The Water Level
The Lake has already started refilling this year, and hopefully, we’ll have a full lake this spring (9’ measured at the dam), which hasn’t happened in the last two years. (Note: the flow out from the dam is now only 8 cubic feet per second [cfs], which started on February 24th due to the drought conditions that still persist. Which should help the lake refill quicker.)
2. The Weeds
Starting on March 15, 2017, the LHF will start a pilot project using Hydro-Raking, which uses a backhoe type of arm that is mounted on a barge. This process takes up to 8” of muck off the bottom of the lake, including the plant life. The two targeted areas for the pilot are the Landing Channel and possibly Crescent Cove. LHF will be funding the entire cost of the pilot, which amounts to $44,000.
“Lake Hopatcong is much too complex to use just Hydro-Raking, so we will also be experimenting with the use of Herbicides in some areas, which we will be comparing to the normal Weed Harvesting. The LHF will work with groups and Homeowners that already use Herbicides, so we will not be incurring any costs in this area. Instead, we are funding the study from Princeton Hydro, which is $20,000.” Reported Marty and Donna.
The outcome of the study will be a document that is targeted to the Homeowners, so they can understand the different types of methods that can be used, and the Pros and Cons of each of them.
“Eventually, what I think we are going to see Long-Term is several different solutions that we will develop into a comprehensive plan on what works in different areas of the lake.” Stated Marty.
Mayor Michael Francis later challenged LHF to continue to look into using “Sterile Grass Carp” as a form of Weed control. They are used in New York and the Carolinas successfully. They are safer than Herbicides, and the fish work cheap.
LHF replied that currently Sterile Grass Carp are illegal in New Jersey, but they will continue to discuss and look into the matter.
Additional LHF Projects:
Lake Hopatcong Trails:
“We received a grant from DEP Trails, and the first section of the trail will be in Hopatcong, which will finish in the next couple of months.” Stated Donna
“Uniting the four communities around the lake into one trail is really taking off, 20 – 30 years from now people are going to be amazed by the trails that we have here.” Added Marty
The LHF is starting to make some headway on improving this area, so that the first time you see the Lake, it’s a positive experience. We just finished meeting with county today, and the Landing Bridge is scheduled to be redone and widen starting in 2019. There are several parcels of land that need to be purchased for the widening, so it may be 2020 before the project gets started.
Lake Hopatcong Train Station:
The roof is finally on, and we are pleased that this phase of the work is now finished. We are starting to work on the interior of the building, where the entire right side of the building will be a community center for everyone’s use. We have already scheduled a Smithsonian exhibit for 2019, so the work has to be fully completed by that time.
LHF Block Party:
Lee Moreau updated the Borough Council regarding their fourth annual Block Party that is scheduled for May 13, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Lee stated, “We like to think of this as a virtual Main Street for Lake Hopatcong for one day, as it represents all of the four communities and their businesses.”
Hopatcong EMS, Fire and the Police Department are already onboard to support the event.
Last year under somewhat rainy skies, we had over 2,000 attendees, and this year if the weather is better we expect up to 3,000 attendees (50% Increase).
We still need the Borough’s assistance in electronic signage and assistance with the shuttles, and we are working with the High Schools, Boy and Girl Scouts and Veterans to recruit volunteers for the event.
Watch for additional articles from the Hopatcong Borough Council meeting that will cover the Lake Hopatcong Cruises, and the Lake Hopatcong Museum subjects that also occurred during the meeting.