Minerva commits to Milfoil eradication

MINERVA In a get it done decision, the Minerva Town Board has voted to take on the problem of Eurasian water-milfoil, a noxious invasive aquatic weed that is becoming a serious issue in Minerva Lake. The lake, which is considered by many residents to be the gem and central natural resource of the Town, has been under attack by this fast-growing weed for the past several years. The Board decision wasnt unanimous (it passed by roll call vote of 4-1), but it did reflect the overall concern the Town has had for the lakes health. The vote followed a Power Point presentation by Andrew Lewis of Aquatic Invasive Management, LLC during the Boards regular meeting on May 1. Lewis put together a shorter version of the presentation he gave a couple of months ago during a special public meeting regarding the Eurasian water-milfoil issue affecting Minerva Lake. His company was hired by the Town last year in an initial effort to remove the weeds from the lake via a dive-and-pull effort during the summer and fall. Lewis presented three cost options to the Town to get the work done. The options ranged from $24,400, which would include placing mats on milfoil beds on the lake bottom as well as 15 days of diving to remove plants from the worst areas of the lake, to $47, 020, which would include mat placement as well as 30 days of diving to remove all known growth of the weed. A mid-cost option ($37, 828) would focus on weed beds and areas of concern. The Town voted to go with the most expensive option, which would result in the most intense effort to remove the invasive weed. Although Lewis could not guarantee that the plant would be eradicated as a result of the initial effort, the Town felt that going after the plant up front with guns drawn this year will mean that succeeding years of weed control will cost the Town less each year. Town Supervisor Mike McSweeney summarized his thoughts on the effort: We could possibly lose our lake down the line if we dont deal with this problem now.

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