Johnsburg town beach in jeopardy

JOHNSBURG - Heavily debated at Monday night's Johnsburg Town Board meeting, the fate of the public beach off Route 28 in North Creek is in limbo. The board unanimously approved a motion to appoint Delaware Engineering to approach the Department of Health (DOH) and other regulatory agencies regarding possible solutions.

Swimming and recreational use of the town beach and surrounding grounds has been prohibited since last August pending further attention from DOH and the Johnsburg Town Board. Public use of the restricted area could result in a $2,000 fine.

The facility was closed after public concern regarding the water safety resulted in tests of the water clarity. The tests revealed that a clarity disk could not be seen at a four foot depth as per regulations. The beach revealed a clarity depth of roughly 2.5 to 3 feet.

Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said the board would like to do whatever they can to reopen the beach, but will not do it at the expense of taxpayers.

"Those of us who grew up here know that the beach is a well-known and popular part of the community," he said. "In an area, however, where many live below the poverty line and struggle to pay their taxes, we have to be considerate."

Many objected to further time and money being invested in to the property, as roughly $250,000 has already been spent on the project throughout its existence. Projects have included a dam, a berm and dredging efforts. If left to revert back to a natural pond, the area would still require an engineering plan, according to Delaware Engineering.

The spectrum of possible solutions include closing the beach for good as well as investing $6,000-$8,000 toward a sanitation survey and an eight-week sampling program. Other suggested courses of action include an aeration system or fountain, as well as the introduction of a carp species that will eat away the organic matter and vegetation growing in the body of water.

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