The Lake Hopatcong Commission held its monthly meeting on February 10, 2020, at the Lake Hopatcong Train Station. The following provides the highlights of the meeting, with full video coverage available.
Highlights of the Meeting: (Watch the Video)
Commission Chairman H. Ronald Smith opened his comments by thanking Princeton Hydro, the four Municipalities and the Mayors, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation for their hard work in filing for the grants. In total they have about $700,000 requested and about $416,000 of that is in matching funds.
Status of the Grants:
Three grants have been filed in the last two months, with one more being filed shortly.
- Two of the grants are for Section 319 H funding as part of the watershed
- One of the Grants is for HAB projects that use innovative technologies to prevent, mitigate or control HABs
- Another grant covers the following areas:
- Floating Islands in the Landing area of Lake Hopatcong that will help absorb the nutrients that create the HABs
- Shoreline Stabilization at Memorial Pond that drains into Lake Hopatcong
- Replacement of trees in their basin areas due to road salt damage
- Wetland basin maintenance in the Borough of Hopatcong
Changes to Lake Level:
The commission discussed the request from the DEP on adjusting the current lake level. During the meeting, the commission drafted the following resolution for the DEP stating “The Commission recommends that we refill Lake Hopatcong to 8-feet by March 1, 2020, at with time the Commission recommends that the lake be leveled off until the lake reaches full pool at 9-feet.”
Funding for 2020 and Beyond:
According to the Treasurer’s report, the commission has a current balance of $161,000, which includes the recent quarterly funding from the DEP. Later in the meeting, commissioner Fred Steinbaum, D.O. brought up that with the current initiatives the 2020 budget is already committed, and that other forms of funding have to be pursued in the future.
Updates to the Commission:
Lake Hopatcong Foundation:
- The newly formed group of large lakes (Greenwood, Deal, and Hopatcong) had a very productive meeting with the DEP on how to handle HAB warning in the future. In early conversations, the DEP seems open to a possible tiered warning system for the future.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation believes that the Lake Hopatcong Commission is now ready now to take over full responsibility for the management of the lake (filing of grants etc.), as the foundation continues to focus on the community, trails etc.
- The Commission publicly thanked the Foundation for their assistance and hard work during the time of tight deadlines.
- Princeton Hydro submitted a Beach Restoration Plan to Mount Arlington that they will submit to the New Jersey Highlands Council
- The draft with the Watershed Implementation Plan that contains the larger projects is just awaiting final comments before moving forward
- Seeking funding for each municipality from the New Jersey Highlands Council, allow each to perform a high-level assessment on the Storm Water projects within their area. These assessments will help to gain additional funding in the future.
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