To weed or not to weed, that is the question

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    WEST MILFORD n Memorial Day Weekend is a big one for West Milford tourism, specifically for boating on Greenwood Lake. Yet, as of May 19, the council has failed to make a decision on obtaining a weed harvester to keep this major lake viable to boaters. At the Wednesday night meeting, James Warden of Highcrest Lake told members of the council the south end of the lake is virtually impassable. Warden, a political opponent, is pushing the township to buy a weed harvester but to no avail. Councilman Paul Bailey, in charge of tourism for West Milford, has been lobbying for an outside vendor to come in and remove the weeds. On May 5, the Greenwood Lake Bi-state Commission told council members the Lake Hopatcong Commission was willing to lease a machine to the township for $1 a year, for 20 years. The commission would arrange for pick-up of the harvester and volunteers were standing by ready to operate the machine. The only cost to the township would be insurance with an approximate cost of $1,000. The council was reminded that last year's weed control was handled in this manner. Township Attorney William A. De Marco told those at the meeting the town has the insurance certificate and terms were being discussed. Questions remained with regard to the township's obligations and the people who would be operating the machine, De Marco told them. Minutes later a letter written by Councilman Paul Bailey was read. Bailey, who was hospitalized for knee surgery, wrote that he, Councilman Dennis Kirwan, Tourism Revitalization Committee member Ken Freedman, Greenwood Lake Commission Co-chair Steve De Feo, and Greenwood Lake Power Boat Association President John Ringer met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, during the week. They were seeking to include the lake in the Corps' lake maintenance program. "Our immediate need of a weed harvest looks like it will come in the form of their Aquatic Plant Control Program," says Bailey in the letter. "In spite of the ongoing insults to our local economy and taxpayers from the democratic governor's office, we will bring funding to our town, and we will do it without the strings attached. Strings that are jerked about with every political whim in Trenton." On Monday, with the eleventh hour nearing, Acting Township Administrator, Kevin J. Byrnes, said the insurance certificate had been issued in order to arrange pick-up of the machine from Lake Hopatcong. He also said the Greenwood Lake Bi-state Commission will attend the May 27, council meeting to discuss scheduling of Greenwood Lake weed harvesting.