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Chester to buy boat washing station, boost inspection of watercraft

Lake George Park Commission boat wash attendant Doug Underhill power-washes a boat to remove invasive species prior to being launched into Lake George. With their sights set on reducing the spread of invasives, the town of Chester board voted Tuesday March 14 to purchase a wash station to be located at Loon Lake to decontaminate boats before they are launched.

Lake George Park Commission boat wash attendant Doug Underhill power-washes a boat to remove invasive species prior to being launched into Lake George. With their sights set on reducing the spread of invasives, the town of Chester board voted Tuesday March 14 to purchase a wash station to be located at Loon Lake to decontaminate boats before they are launched.

— In an effort to curb the spread of aquatic invasive species into northern Warren County lakes, the town of Chester board voted Tuesday May 14 to purchase a boat washing station.

The portable station is to be employed in a voluntary boat inspection, washing and decontamination program using trained lake stewards.

While officials of the Warren County towns of and Horicon and Chester have their sights set on a mandatory program in the future, they have decided to increase the hours of lake stewards posted at boat launches on Loon Lake, Brant Lake and Schroon Lake to reduce the spread of the invasive plants and creatures into the waterways. In the past three years, Asian Clams have been multiplying in Lake George, and about $1 million has been spend to curb the population of the invasive species, believed to hinder tourism and recreation.

Chester board members voted to purchase a washing station at an anticipated price of about $20,000 and position it initially at the town-owned Loon Lake boat launch. The approved measure calls for soliciting bids on a portable unit that matches the specifications of the Lake George Park Commission’s stations already in use.

The station may be repositioned elsewhere in the future as the needs for boat decontamination evolve, Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe said Tuesday night.

Monday, a proposal raised at a joint workshop meeting of the Horicon and Chester town boards called for a boat washing station to be located about halfway between Loon Lake in Chester and Brant Lake in Horicon — and that Horicon would pay for half the station’s cost. This idea was shelved by the two boards at least temporarily after hearing from Park Commission Executive Director Dave Wick that boaters weren’t likely to have their boats decontaminated if the equipment wasn’t positioned near where they were launching their watercraft.

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