The following is the Question & Answer section from July 22, 2019, Lake Hopatcong Commission Special Meeting, Commission members spoke first, State Officials section, the Mayor’s third and finally the general public Q&A.
Commission Statement: The lake has always had problems that go back to the 1930s, this is a State Owned lake, and the State has never supported it properly. We currently get $500,000, and $350,000 goes to the weed harvesters. So, we only have $145,000 to do everything else is that unbelievable.
New Jersey Senator, Bob Menendez: Thanks, to the commission and the foundation for the work that they have done in coming up with a short term and long term solutions. The lake is a State asset, and the message that we need to send out is that the State will do what they need to do, the State needs to step up and take responsibility. Now is the time to put the States feet to the fire to make sure they can adequately fund the lake. I thank you, and we are here to support you.
Morris County: From a County perspective, we clean the catch basins and sweep the streets. Mount Arlington and most of Roxbury is on sewers. We need State funding.
Mayor of Mount Arlington: Why is the New Jersey Threshold so much higher than other States.
- Answer: The State of New Jersey has a combined strategy across multiple State organizations. The number was taken from the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) in 2017.
Mayor of Roxbury: The Mayors have been holding the States feet to the fires. I believe the NJDEP needs to open the lake where it is available. Also, Roxbury is on sewers except at the Lake Hopatcong State Park.
Mayor of Hopatcong: The political bureaucracy stinks. As an example, after two years of trying to get grass feed carp into the lake, the NJDEP said no. The point I’m making is we don’t need to do studies; we need to find a model that works and implement it. For example, Lake Charm in Vermont used aeration and good bacteria to combat the problem. Closing the lake has crushed the businesses around the lake.
Are we really at the level that we are at? Based on the toxin’s levels, I don’t believe we are at a point where the lake should be closed. I believe that there are answers to our problems, for heaven’s sake. Let’s get on with it!
Jefferson Mayor: Jefferson is currently not on sewers, and they are seeking funding to help with the project. According to a study in 2002 the cost with be $65 million. Jefferson has done septic management, but that is not the long term solution.
NJDEP: All sites around the lake will be tested starting Tuesday, July 23, 2019. In the past, they have only been sampling around the lake.
New Jersey Highlands Coalition: They will be organizing a public information meeting at the Roxbury Performing Arts center on August 22, 2019
Resident: The DEP is really good at testing, but they are not good at getting anything done. And I’m really sick about it. The State has a responsibility to the homeowners. I have to pay a 33% surcharge to live on the lake that I can’t even use (Note: Police take away microphone).
Ever blue Lake Solutions: I’ve looked at Lake Hopatcong, and you have a dead zone below 15’ - 20’ where the lake is oxygen-depleted.
Resident: The DEP has failed to test the quarry stream for water sediment. The water is pea green.
- Answer: NJDEP will test the stream on Tuesday. The commissioner is taking this very seriously.
Resident: Issues were reported about the quarry last February, and the resident has asked for the results and is still waiting
Resident Wood Port Cove: Issues were reported in January through photos and drown footage, and there still have been no results. There are no ducks, geese or anything else is the cove as the sediment has killed the oxygen
Catch all four in the Series:
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