MAYVILLE - The Findley Lake Watershed Foundation is receiving $5,000 from the county's 2 percent Occupancy Tax Funding.
During its monthly meeting, the Chautauqua County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the remaining 2 percent Occupancy Tax Funding for 2013 Projects to the Findley Lake Watershed Foundation.
According to the resolution brought forward by County Executive Greg Edwards, Findley Lake has a source of water seeping through the breakwall that is currently undermining the stability of the dam, and required immediate emergency action. Additionally, the resolution states there may be a risk associated with the leaking dam, with the potential to threaten human health or life, and economic stability in the area.
Some time in the spring of 2012, Legislator Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, brought his boat to the Findley Lake Marina to be serviced. While he was there, the owner of the marina asked Croscut if he was aware of a sinkhole near the lake.
"At that time, they knew they had a problem, because the lake was simply not filling up as fast as usual," Croscut said. "They had also developed a sinkhole along the road shoulder, between the road and the sidewalk."
The original sinkhole was filled in with gravel. However, this year, another sinkhole developed. Croscut then organized a special meeting in Findley Lake for groups to come together to evaluate and learn about the sinkhole situation and work together to find a solution.
"I, through my years of experience, knew that we had to get other people involved," Croscut said. "So, we called (state) Sen. Young, (Assemblyman) Andy Goodell, I talked with the state of New York people, Sen. Young had people from the state there. We had people from the Soil & Water Board there, we had people from Hill (Engineering), we had the county executive, people from Tom Reed's office, and last Monday morning we had a meeting in Findley Lake. The best way to solve these problems is to get people together and discuss it, rather than spend so much time and not get anything accomplished."
The Findley Lake Watershed Foundation had originally applied for $40,000 in bed tax funding from the legislature, which was denied.
The resolution called for $5,000 to be given to the Findley Lake Watershed Foundation, which was granted with no discussion.
"I felt it was appropriate to do whatever we could in short order to apply some dollars to help them take the next engineering step, which is to really determine precisely the breadth of the problem, and the steps that need to be taken to solve it," Edwards said. "So, there is a reserve in the 2 percent. I talked to Fred Croscut about that and Steve Abdella (county attorney). It's my belief that using a portion, not all, a portion of that reserve in this emergency fits with the goals and objectives of the 2 percent funding, and the type of project that reserves are designed for. This money is going to go in, along with other monies from the IDA, from a variety of other sources, including the landowners themselves, the watershed group, the town of Mina and others to take this very important step to fully investigate the problems so that an engineered solution can be developed."