Boaters won't pay a fee to use Greenwood Lake for now

01 Feb 2018 | 03:47

— Boaters on Greenwood Lake will not have to pay a fee to use the waterway for now.
The Greenwood Lake Commission (GLC) members tabled the proposal and do not support a fee for boaters to launch their boats on Greenwood Lake, they decided at their Jan. 25 meeting.
They will pursue state legislative assistance and explore other ways to obtain money to preserve and care for the lake. The commissioners will concentrate on exhausting all potential permanent state government funding sources.
“I’m dead set against it (a boater’s fee),” Commissioner Eric Hastings said. “It is an additional tax. We’re adamant that it not be resurrected.”
For now at least, the proposal is tabled.
The sitting commissioners were strong in their opposition to charging boaters to use the lake at the GLC meeting at the West Milford Library. Some commissioners felt that a fee would result in people taking their boats to Lake Hopatcong, where there is no fee.
Commissioner Clint Smith said a user fee would not bring in much revenue or be adequate to generate the funding needed for preservation of the lake.
New Jersey Chair Paul Zarrillo said that he had estimates from reliable sources that said boater fees would bring in $90,000 to $110,000 annually.
Zarrillo will continue meeting with state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio. Zarrillo and the other commissioners want to convince legislators to give Greenwood Lake the same consideration that resulted in a $500,000 annual grant for Lake Hopatcong.
The GLC seeks permanent funding arrangements for the lake from both New York and New Jersey state representatives.
Zarrillo also plans to initiate a letter writing campaign in the ongoing movement to raise funds.
There will be a renewed effort for an online presence of the GLC and raising public awareness of the needs to keep the lake pristine and safe for the public.
Treasurer Dale VanNimwegen said it will be helpful to establish a platform for a community lobbying effort.
She believes that having the GLC involved with Facebook would increase the commission’s reach and build needed relationships with the public.
She suggested that the GLC regularly update the public of the progress of the commission on Facebook.
VanNimwegen said it is time to go after funds in a visual way.
Zarrillo said the boater fee possibility should be revisited if legislators and the public do not voluntarily step up to help with funding.
He said any legislation that promises funding would only add money to the coffers years down the road.
In other commission news, there are two requests for proposals out for the removal of three dangerous floating stump fields and one for herbicides applications from Fox Island south and perhaps the east arm.
Zarrillo said another focus will be the clearing and removal of weeds and debris and improvement of water quality at Belcher’s Creek.
The commission is also reviewing the GLC procedures and by-laws.
The next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Senior Center in the Village of Greenwood Lake.
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