Lake Hopatcong Commission: Budget Worries – 2020 Weed Harvesting in Doubt – HABs Update

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The Lake Hopatcong Commission conducted its standard meeting on May 11, 2020, with the majority of the meeting following into the following areas of major highlight.

The primary concern during the meeting focused on budget worries based upon the State living up to their obligations, which puts the weed harvesting in jeopardy for the summer of 2020. Additionally, Princeton Hydro provided an excellent comparison of 2019 vs. 2020 and update on the potential for Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) this year.

We encourage readers to watch the full video of the meeting to supplement these brief highlights.

 

Budget Worries:

The Budget worries expressed throughout the meeting by the Commissioners focused on the worry that the State of New Jersey will not live up to the obligations of funding that are due in July. Currently, the Lake Hopatcong Commission has $207,000, and if they are to proceed with any of the 2020 planned activities, it could put the commission in jeopardy long-term.

The DEP Representative on the commission advised: “This is something we have never seen before, we are even waiting on word of the funding for the State Parks.”

Weed Harvesting on Hold:

The weed harvesting for 2020 has officially been put on hold, as the cost to fund the first six-weeks could deplete the Lake Hopatcong Commission Budget. While Chair Smith stated, “It’s hard to believe we won’t do weed harvesting in 2020.” The commission agreed to have the Financial -Sub-Committee look at the matter and to await more word on State funding before making any decisions.

Harmful Algae Blooms – Risks for 2020:

One of the most Knowledge sources of information on Lake Hopatcong present at the meeting is Fred S. Lubnow, Ph. D Director of Aquatic Programs – Princeton Hydro. Who has been studying the lake for over 20+ years, during his update he warned it is too early to tell how 2020 will play out on Lake Hopatcong in terms of HABs.

While yes, the weather has been cooler this spring, we had a warm winter and June is a wild-card. Princeton Hydro will do the first round of testing on May 19, 2020, at multiple locations and will be able to report within 48 hours on the levels found and update the commission.

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