Devices in use around Lake Hopatcong to protect docks and make sure that ice from the lake does not corrupt the shore line have caught the interest of the Greenwood Lake Commission (GLC). Township Administrator William Senande told the township council at a recent meeting that the GLC has recommended use of the devices at Greenwood Lake.
The proposal raised questions from Councilwoman Patricia Gerst. She wondered who would be responsible to collect money for this and who would have the responsibility of enforcement. She did not see a need for the council to consider an ordinance spelling out regulations for this proposal. Gerst also questioned if there might be future zoning issues involved.
Mayor Michele Dale suggested that council members be provided with information from the Lake Hopatcong Commission regarding the use of ice retardant systems on Lake Hopatcong and that Senande meet with the Greenwood Lake Commission to discuss the subject.
According to the Lake Hopatcong Commission (LHC) web site the devices around their lake are commonly referred to as an “ice eater” which refers to a dock de-icer that uses an electric motor and pump to pull warmer water from the depth and direct it toward the surface. LHC is working with all four of the municipalities on their lake to promote the safe and effective use of ice retardant systems, according to information on the site. That report said promoting the proper use of the systems will help prevent winter accidents from occurring on the lake while still being able to protect docks and property from ice damage.
According to the information the LHC does not have regulatory or enforcement authority on Lake Hopatcong. However the local municipalities of Mount Arlington, Hopatcong, Roxbury and Jefferson all have an ordinance in place which regulates the use of ice retardant systems.
The community ordinances say that the affected area covered by the ice retardant system shall not extend more than 25 feet beyond the protected structure or more than 25 feet, measured along the shoreline, from the protected structure. The town ordinances also say that no system shall be designated or operated in such a way as to prevent ingress or egress to any portion of the water body or to foreclose the formation of ice across a channel.
The ordinances also say all ice-retardant systems shall be marked with an appropriate sign placed along the shore or the protected structure specifying “Danger, Thin Ice.” They state that the municipal construction official is responsible for enforcement of the ordinance on Lake Hopatcong.