Highlands Grant Big Help to Commission

Environmental consultant Princeton Hydro will update the Lake Hopatcong Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) with $109,000 from the Highlands Council. There are nine elements of a WIP, including total phosphorus in the water and descriptions of implemented stormwater and in-lake water quality projects.

The current WIP is outdated, according to Fred Lubnow from Princeton Hydro. The WIP includes Lubbers Run and Lake Musconetcong, Lubnow told the Lake Hopatcong Commission at its Monday, April 9, meeting. He noted that an up-to-date WIP will help the commission and the Lake Musconetcong Regional Planning Board (LMRPB) obtain more funding.

Earl Riley of the LMRPB said his board will have to look over the paperwork for the grant. “Our board has not been exposed to this,” Riley said.

Hopatcong State Park superintendent Melissa Castellon said the weed harvesters should be on the water by May 1. She added that maintenance is nearly complete, and they are just waiting for a few parts.

Commission administrative assistant Colleen Conover is getting ready for the block party scheduled for Saturday, May 12. She is having destination stickers made with an outline of the lake and LH on them. She is also having five pamphlets printed for distribution.

One will advise lakefront homeowners on the proper use of ice eaters. Commissioner Dan McCarthy said he wants to see a pamphlet in the hands of every lakefront homeowner before Labor Day. He brought a timer to the meeting. Although not a state-of-the-art timer, it can be plugged in to the ice eater or bubbler and set to turn it on and off every day. With this kind of timer, summer residents can leave the bubbler connected all winter without creating large areas of open water that interfere with neighbors’ use of the lake.

Another brochure will provide a general description of the lake commission; a third will give instructions on how to identify an algal bloom; a fourth will offer tips for keeping phosphorous out of the lake; and a fifth will be on boat safety. Conover said she will have 500 of each printed for the commission’s table at the block party.

Mount Arlington representative Anne Pravs introduced her new alternate, Aitor Ostolaza. A former employee of the borough, Ostolaza was involved in the installation of state-of-the-art storm drains around the borough. He was a member of Save the Lake 2000.

Chair Ronald Smith said that because the commission once again has funding and will be subject to audits, Conover was provided with a laptop and QuickBooks.

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