MAYVILLE - Chautauqua Lake will be receiving some emergency funding this year to help combat weed growth and to assist in beach clean-up.
The extra funding should come in handy, too, as experts predict weed growth at the lake to be the worst it's been in years.
The County Legislature approved a $10,000 allocation to the Chautauqua Lake Association during their full-body meeting last week. The funding will come from the county's emergency contingency fund for lakes and streams, and is secured through a portion of the county's 2 percent occupancy tax.
The $10,000 will be matched by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, which has already granted $20,000 this year to the CLA, and $30,000 in 2011 to assist with maintenance efforts.
Several county legislators signed on to the resolution to support the CLA.
"As many of you know, last year was one of the worst years that we had seen with the shoreline weeds and algae,"said Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point, during the legislature meeting.
"The CLA is in a position where the funding is absolutely critical to be able to hire and deploy crews in June to get ahead of what is anticipated to be a very, very challenging year," he added.
Jeff Diers, county watershed coordinator, said the emergency contingency fund - a $40,000 account - was established for lakes and streams using portions of the county's occupancy tax.
Diers said the fund is meant to assist in situations "we might not be able to account for" within the county.
"I support the $10,000 from the emergency fund because we are in a state of hurrying to be prepared for what could be the worst year on record for weed growth on Chautauqua Lake," he said.
Diers said until work officially begins, there is no way to determine how bad weed and algae growth has gotten due to a mild winter - which resulted in low rain- and snow-packs.
"Again, I am hoping that this is going to be a relatively pain-free year with weed growth, but we don't want to take that chance," Diers added, "and the Chautauqua Lake Association is trying to prepare."
The CLA budget has been slashed in recent years, limiting their ability to maintain the lake's waterways. According to Chris Yates, CLA president, the funding will help the group bring its maintenance budget to "half-strength."