Adoption of rules for use of ice retardant systems at Greenwood Lake is under consideration by the Township of West Milford Council.
The local governing board was expected to introduce an ordinance establishing regulations for this when they met during the past week. A date for a public hearing in July will be announced. If adopted the new law will become part of the township’s Code of Laws.
The system involves a mechanical device(s) or a series of mechanical devices designed to retard or prevent the formation of ice in or around lakefront structures. Mode of operation includes one or more mechanisms including pumped air, artificial water turbulence or addition of heat to the water body.
Protected structures are, but not limited to include docks, piers, catwalks, seawalls and boat houses. The ordinance would authorize the use of ice retardant systems within the township limits at Greenwood Lake from Nov. 1 of each year through April 15 of the following year.
The ordinance’s purpose is stated as “for the protection of persons and property and to provide for the public health, safety and welfare of the Township of West Milford and its inhabitants.”
The affected area of ice, under normal conditions, shall not extend to within 10 feet of a side property line. This may be waived if the owner and/or operator of the ice retardant system receives written permission from the adjacent property owner. The retardant system must be designed and approved in accord with the township law. No system shall be designed 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 proposed ordinance describes the affected area of ice surface disturbed by operation of an ice retardant system to include open water, weakened ice (excessively cracked), thin ice (less than four inches in depth) and area where adjacent ice is covered by a film of water.
The construction official and/or another municipal official designated by the township administrator and designated as the enforcement officer will provide enforcement of the law. A violation, including the operational requirements, would be punishable by a fine of no less than $250 or more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days or both fine and imprisonment. Continuation of an offense would be considered a separate and distinct offense for each day it continues.
It would be required that no less than six signs be created and posted around Greenwood Lake at regular intervals noting the township’s regulation of the use of ice retardant systems at the lake. There also would be a requirement for at least six flags at the shoreline warning “Danger – Thin Ice.”
When the proposal for ice retardant systems first came up last November residents of the other lake communities in the township told the council they did not want the ordinance to affect their communities. The council listened and they would not be bound by the proposed ordinance if it is adopted.