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Watershed issues top Lake Placid village agenda

September 23, 2009
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID - Watershed issues topped the agenda of another village Board of Trustees meeting on Monday night. Only this time it was Mirror Lake, not Lake Placid, that took center stage.

The board met with Bill Billerman of the Mirror Lake Watershed Association, who discussed concerns about the village's fireworks policy, stormwater runoff and protecting the lake from invasive species.

Much attention this summer has been focused on the discovery and removal of variable-leaf milfoil from Paradox Bay in Lake Placid. Dive teams went back into the lake this week and detected more milfoil on the west side of the bay and are working to remove the plants, according to Mark Wilson of the Lake Placid Shore Owners Association.

Billerman told the board that it's possible the same invasive plant could get into Mirror Lake.

"With it being so close, we're really concerned we might have an infestation in Mirror Lake," he said.

The watershed group has been testing the water and looking for milfoil this summer. So far they've found nothing, Billerman said.

He asked the board to tighten up its policy on the use of motorized boats on Mirror Lake for special events like the Ironman triathlon.

"Do those boats get inspected, and who inspects them?" he asked. "We're just trying to minimize the potential for any type of invasive in Mirror Lake."

Trustee David Jones said he wasn't sure who inspects the boats but said the village requests they be cleaned before entering the lake.

"We're assured by the organizations that is being done," he said. "But we don't have a point person for the village."

Trustee Zay Curtis said the issue could be considered as the board develops its policy for addressing invasive species in Lake Placid.

Billerman said it's inevitable that milfoil will become a problem in Mirror Lake.

"The spread of invasives is getting to be all around us," he said. "It's only a matter of time before it does get introduced, and we've got to be able to stop it first."

Billerman also talked with the board about better protecting the lake from stormwater runoff.

He said the village has done a good job on the lake's western, commercial shore, but the municipal storm drain system on the eastern, residential side of the lake is undersized, Billerman said.

"There's no treatment for anything," he said. "Everything that goes on the street goes right into the lake."

Billerman offered to help the village secure grants to upgrade the stormwater system. He said there are 15 to 20 unprotected storm drains on the lake's east shore.

"By all means, if you see a grant, please make us aware of it so we can get an application in," Jones said.

The village was also asked to increase the deposit it requires for organizations that set off fireworks in the village.

Billerman said the current $100 deposit isn't high enough to get people to clean up fireworks debris from the lake. He suggested a $500 deposit.

"It's probably less expensive for a fireworks producer to not clean up, (forfeit the deposit) and just walk away from it because it costs so much for them to clean up," he said.

The village agreed to take a closer look at its fireworks policy. Most fireworks displays in the village are set off from the old Lake Placid Club property, which is owned by the Lussi family.

In other business, the village board passed a local law that gives the chief of police the power to request assistance from or provide assistance to other police agencies. The village of Saranac Lake passed a similar measure in July.


Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or



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