As in the last update, our BBPO group has been merged into the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), a 501c3 non-profit corporation. So, we are now CLP, with non-profit corporate status and the associated benefits and responsibilities. We have over 100 members including 75 from the original BBPO group. Encourage your Bemus Bay area friends and neighbors to join us…have them send their e-mail address and we’ll add them to the CLP and our distribution list.
- New CLP officers were elected with three of four from BBPO (Jim Cirbus – President, Jim Wehrfritz – Vice President, Mike Latone – Treasurer). Karen Rine, the former CLP President, will provide continuity as Secretary).
- A CLP Fundraising Committee was set up with Sara DeMink – Chairperson and Marcia Cirbus, Kelly Auer, Susie Keller and Deb Wehrfritz as members. The Committee sent a very informative funding request letter to current CLP(BBPO) members yesterday. A similar letter to ~300 additional Bemus Bay area property owners seeking CLP membership and support was sent as well. Please hold off contributing to other lake organizations until you see this letter and consider the CLP request. Obviously, your financial support is critical to the CLP Program.
Following is an update of activities/plans since the last update a month ago. You’ll see that we continue to be very busy.
- Jim Wehrfritz, CLP Vice President, was elected to the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District Board of Directors on March 7. His position was approved by the County Legislator a few weeks later. Jim joins Karen Rines, CLP Secretary on that Board. Most Bemus Bay property owners are served by the District.
- We had our fourth meeting with the Town of Ellery Council on Thursday, March 9. At this meeting, the Town passed formal resolutions approving the SOLitude permitting contract and associated Town funding and agreeing to be the applicant for DEC herbicide permit applications. CLP agreed to provide subject matter and administrative assistance.
- The Bemus Point Board of Trustees unanimously passed a formal resolution on March 14agreeing to be co-applicant with the Town of Ellery on the DEC herbicide permit applications.
- CLP was represented at the County Legislature’s Planning Committee meeting on March 15. The County’s Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS) was finalized and presented to the Committee at this meeting. The MMS was developed to meet the DEC’s 1987 requirement that a “lake plan” be in place for Chautauqua Lake before weed management methods requiring permitting are approved. We’re happy that the “lake plan” is now in place.
- We met with representatives of several local foundations on March 20. We explained our lake concerns and CLP plans and requested their financial support. We had a very constructive discussion and were encouraged by the reception. Followup meetings with individual foundations have begun (see below).
- CLP participated in a County-organized “lake level management” meeting on March 24 to explore opportunities to better manage Chautauqua Lake level…higher in the summer and lower in the winter may improve conditions. Participants included the National Weather Service, DEC, US Army Corps of Engineers and several others. We contributed to set of follow-on plans which, if completed, could have a positive impact on lake level management.
- Town Supervisor Johnson (March 24), Bemus Point Village Mayor Dahlberg (March 25) and County Executive Horrigan (March 26) sent letters to Senator Young supporting the CLP’s $70,000 funding request as NY’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget was being finalized in Albany. We appreciate this support from our local leaders.
- CLP reinstated its founding membership in the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance on March 27. We will formally present our organization and plans and request support from the Alliance Board of Directors on April 13 (4:00 pm at the Stow Senior Center). We need CLP members, neighbors and friends to come to that meeting, show their support and reinforce CLP expectations of Alliance support for our $1000/year membership fee.
- On March 28, we met with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Board of Directorsfollowing from the foundation group meeting on March 20. We explained our lake concerns and CLP plans and requested their financial support during a very constructive and informative discussion. We are preparing a formal funding request.
- We met with County Executive Horrigan, County Legislator Chagnon and others from the County on March 30. We updated them on CLP activities and plans, reinforced our commitment to a near term solution to lake problems and requested their support in several specific ways. We asked them to publicly, actively and financially support CLP’s 2017 Program to benefit all Chautauqua Lake residents citing Town of Ellery and Village of Bemus Point leadership.
- CLP sent a follow-up letter to Senator Young on March 29 updating her on CLP progress and plans and reinforcing the funding request CLP submitted earlier in the month. As with the County, Town and Village letters (above), this was sent to the Senator as NY’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget is being finalized in Albany.
- Consistent with DEC requirements, ~640 Letters of Notification were sent to Bemus Bay shoreline property owners and beyond on March 30 notifying them of Town/Village permitting efforts.
Jim Wehrfritz on behalf of…
Jim Cirbus, President, Chautauqua Lake Partnership,
Mike Latone, Karen Rine, Jamie Henderson and Randy Present