Boat washing plan needs more scrutiny

But the plan currently on the table seems to evoke more questions than provide answers.

For example — when would the launches be open to the public? Fishermen like to get an early start, others like to watch the Thursday night fireworks downtown. Would launches be open at these times?

And how about the mandatory two-week drying period required after a boat is pulled from the water. If you’re lucky, we get about a three-month boating season in these parts. If you have to wait two weeks between launches, that would allow about six times out without a $30 washdown.

It is expensive enough for those who live off the lake to access it — asking them to fork over $30 several times a year is simply not practical.

The lake was put here for everyone to enjoy. Let’s keep it that way.

At the same time, this system would rely on the word of the person launching the boat.

If faced with the decision of telling a little white lie to the 21-year-old sunburned sentry or sitting in an hour-long line to pay $30 for a boat scrubbing, how do you think many will answer?

The plan might be less discriminatory and the lake might be better protected by just mandating that all boats be washed down.

Then there’s the cost of operation. The state Department of Environmental Conservation — with its ever-shrinking budget —doesn’t seem to want to touch this one with a 10-foot pole.

But the vast majority of launches dotting the lake are private. Should these businesses be required to pick up the cost of overseeing the program?

Who will pay for the $250,000 wash stations? The state? You’d have a better chance of taking up a collection among waterfront owners.

And, finally, will all the expense and extra hassle truly keep invasives from Lake George? Can anyone actually say with certainty if any of this will have a benefit at a reasonable cost?

Comments may be directed to denpubs@denpubs.com.

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