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Lake Hopatcong Commission: Possible Economic Impact Study from HABs - & - More

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The Lake Hopatcong Commission (LHC) held its monthly meeting on March 9, 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)

Economic Impact Study:

During the meeting Commissioner, Dr. Fred Steinbaum updated the LHC with research that he has started regarding the need to measure the economic impact the Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) had on the Lake Hopatcong Region, as this information would help show the importance of the problem to State and Federal officials.

The estimated cost of the study is between $20,000 - $30,000 and would include loss of Business, Property and Tax revenue. Funding may be available through the Highlands Council if one of the local towns could help with the filing.

Later in the meeting, Fred S. Lubnow, Ph.D. from Princeton Hydro indicated that this type of information would help obtain grants and other sources of funding.

Weed Harvest Schedule:

The weed harvesting for Lake Hopatcong is scheduled to start on May 1, 2020, and will include the small harvester, which is currently being repaired.

Zoning Board Review:

The project of hiring two consultants to work with the local municipalities has started, as they now working to ensure local zoning is taking the watershed into account in their review process.

Commissioner and Jefferson Township Mayor Eric Wilsusen provided the commission with a recent example of a zoning project that benefited from close attention to the watershed and run-off from the land.

Note: At the time of the meeting, the LHC had not been informed on the approval of NJ DEP grants.

Chairman’s Report:

  • Discussed a Marina Fee to help Fund the Lake Hopatcong Commission
  • Meeting of the four local Mayor’s occurred last week, which was also attended by the LHF and the NJ DEP. The meeting and sense of cooperation was very positive.

Updates to the Commission:

Commission Members:

  • The new LHC headquarters in Mount Arlington is delayed due to renovations
  • Economic Impact Study (covered above)

Lake Hopatcong Foundation:

  • The LHF covered multiple upcoming events and programs (See Online Events)
  • They have already maxed out on the Spring Field Trip program with 1,400 kids
  • Based on feedback from the community, the LHF will start creating some safety videos
  • An additional Senate Bill S1986 has been introduced that would add $750,000 to fund the LHC

Princeton Hydro:

  • We should know about the 319 Grants for Watershed Management in April, and the EPA HAB Grant in June
  • Princeton Hydro also warned the commission on getting people around Lake Hopatcong familiar with the Hydrilla, which a very invasive species of aquatic weeds

DEP / State Park:

  • Work is underway to start the Weed Harvest on May 1, 2020, and the small harvester will also be repaired in time for the start date


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