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Schroon Lake plan to be developed

SCHROON LAKE The Schroon Lake Association has asked local taxpayers to help fund the development of a lake management plan. The group made its request during a meeting with the Schroon, Chester and Horicon town boards in Schroon Lake March 27. Each of the communities borders the lake. The Schroon Lake Association Board of Directors has long known that it needed to undertake the writing of a lake management master plan for Schroon Lake, said Helen Wildman, SLA vice president. Such a plan is a consensus-building doc- See SCHROON, page 18 ument designed to guide the future of lake-management projects undertaken by the SLA and the towns of Schroon, Horicon and Chester. Not only is a LaMP fundamental to obtaining government grants, but it will serve as a guide for ordering tasks to be undertaken by the SLA, she said. A dynamic document, able to change with the times, if necessary, it will direct the future efforts of the SLA as an advocate for the lake. The town boards took no action at the meeting, but promised to discuss the SLA request. The SLA began discussions with the three town boards last December and formally asked for financial assistance with the lake plan in February. The plan will cost $10,770 over a three-year period, according to Wildman. The SLA has agreed to pay $1,300 a year for the plan and is asking Schroon for $1,100 a year, Horicon for $800 a year and Chester for $400 a year. The Schroon Lake Association has already signed a contract for the study with Adirondack Ecologists, a firm operated by Steve LaMere. LaMere, a certified lake manager, has been working with the SLA and the lakes communities the past 12 years. He is also the director of the Essex County fish hatchery in Crown Point. Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe took exception to the SLA entering into a contract without first seeking formal proposals or bids. He argued its improper for governments to spend taxpayer money without going through established procedures. Wildman countered the SLA is not a government body and it has entered into the contract. It is only asking the local towns to help with the cost. The Schroon Lake Association will be responsible for the contract we signed, Wildman said. We are only asking for your help. Dave Wick, district manager of the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, attended the meeting at Monroes invitation. He said the LaMere proposal to develop the lake management plan lacked specifics. Will you get a five-page report based on observation or a 500-page document based on research? he asked. Wildman and several others defended LaMere and work hes done for Schroon Lake in the past. Ive been here for 20 years; I was here when Steve came on board, Schroon Supervisor Cathy Moses said. I personally feel he has earned the opportunity to do the lake management plan for us. Roger Friedman, a Schroon town board member, also praised LaMere's work. Monroe also questioned oversight of the project. Moses countered many groups are involved and will make certain the lake plan is developed properly. Meetings have been held with the towns of Schroon, Horicon and Chester, Assembly member Theresa Sayward, (state) Sen. Betty Little, the DEC (state Department of Environmental Conservation), Warren and Essex County Soil and Water Districts, and the Chambers of Commerce of North Warren and Schroon Lake, Wildman said. All will be watching the plans progress, she added. The management plan will also take into account the concerns of the public, Wildman noted. The SLA is preparing a questionnaire to be sent to all residents in lake communities seeking their input. Each of the town supervisors expressed support for the Schroon Lake Association and its goals. Theres a new awareness of the lake and its issues thanks to the Schroon Lake Association, Moses said. Were definitely moving in the right direction. Monroe agreed. Im very supportive, and my board is, too, Monroe said of the SLA. We all want to do whats necessary and best for Schroon Lake.

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