Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #327

26 October 2004

Holiday Inn

Lake George, NY


PRESIDING:                Bruce E. Young, Chair


COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:    Margaret M. Stewart
                        Anthony P. Reale
                        Roger H. Phinney
                        Thomas K. Conerty
                        Joan A. Robertson
                        John Pettica, Jr.
                        Shauna M. DeSantis
                        (Erin M. Crotty, DEC Commissioner)
                         Thomas W. Hall, representing


COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT:    John C. McDonald, Jr.


COMMISSION COUNSEL:        Martin D. Auffredou



COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT:    Michael P. White, Executive Director
                        Kathleen Ledingham, Secretary II
                        Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor I   
                        Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst I
                        Keith G. Fish, Operations Director
                        J. Thomas Wardell, Senior Sanitary Engineer
                        Peggy Sturtevant, Principal Account Clerk
                        Linda Butler, Clerk II
                        Michelle Way, Assistant


DEC STAFF PRESENT:            Ron Montesi


OTHERS PRESENT:

                              Anthony Hall                      Mary Alice Leary                Jason Rowe
Susan Barden                Chris Navitsky                John Boltz
Dave Decker

Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting

The 327th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by
Chairman Young at 10:15 a.m. and the roll was taken. 

Mr. Young apologized for the late start of today’s meeting.  He said that the Law
Enforcement meeting ran longer than expected.

Mr. Young said that the minutes of the previous meeting were distributed in advance of
this meeting to Commission members for their review.  He asked if there were any
corrections or discussion.

Upon the motion of Maggie Stewart, seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission
members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of Meeting #326 as
submitted.


Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications: 
          Maggie Stewart


Matter of Variance Request for Mooring Placement submitted by Madison Finley,
Town of Bolton, County of Warren - #5220-35-04

Molly Gallagher introduced this project.  She said that the proposed project is to place a
new mooring in Basin Bay.  She said that the applicant has two docks and one existing
mooring.  She said that the applicant proposes to install the mooring 130 feet out into
the lake.  She said that a variance is needed from the 100 foot limit.  There is 174 feet
of lakefrontage and the project is located in the Town of Bolton.

The Chair asked if there was anyone in the audience to speak for or against the project.
There was not.

Maggie Stewart said that the public comment portion of Project Review can be closed
as there are no comments.


Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Report:  Peggy Sturtevant

Mr. Young said that the report on fiscal affairs for the month of September 2004
prepared by Peggy Sturtevant was distributed in advance of the meeting.  He asked if
there were any questions or additions from Commission members.

Upon the motion of Tom Conerty, seconded by Tony Reale, all Commission members
present voting affirmatively, the Fiscal Actions Report for the month of September 2004
was accepted as submitted.


Item #4 - FY 2005-06 Budget Request:  Michael P. White

Michael White said that he previously distributed memoranda to Commission members
on the annual budget request.  He asked if there were any questions or comments from
Commission members..

The Chair asked Mr. White for a report on the fiscal year 2005-06 budget request.

Mr. White said that the Commission budget is the start of a process to establish the
appropriations under the New York State Budget for the Commission to spend funds
next year.  He said that a projection is made on what revenue will be on the remainder
of this current year which ends March 31, 2005 and through the end of next year.  “The
budget goes on to estimate revenue for next year which taken together with current
year ending cash, represents the total amount available for expenditure from the Lake
George Park Trust Fund,” he said.

Mr. White said that the budget is based on the evaluation that the current programs of
the Commission represent the agency’s priorities.  He said that as part of this budget
there is a proposed administrative restructuring.   He said that the proposed
restructuring would reduce the number of full-time annual positions from 9 to 8 with a
corresponding savings in personal services regular and fringe benefit costs compared
with projected expenses without the restructuring.  He said that since the restructuring
will coincide with planned retirements, no involuntary separations will occur.  He said
that this action will help the Commission absorb a rise in fringe benefit expenses and
still realize a 3.3% decrease in total requested appropriations.  He said that the
restructuring is made possible by continuous improvements the Commission has made
in administrative efficiency.

Mr. White reported on several budget initiatives.  He said that a significant initiative is
the Commission’s water-based recreation plan.  He said that the budget allocates
$70,000 of the $98,000 project budget for next year since data collection will be the
more cost intensive phase of the project.  He said that there is also a projected
allocation of $20,000 to retain the professional services of a planner who would assist
the Commission as needed in addressing some of the issues of upland development.
“This would help the Commission advance initiatives relative to stream corridor
management and tree clearing and maybe wastewater, boathouses, and things that
have been areas of the Commission’s responsibility where we desire to show some
progress,” he said.

Mr. White said that there is an allocation for services of a professional engineer related
to wastewater management.  He said that with the Watershed Conference, there is a
plan to advance a collaborative effort with the Conference, all the municipalities, DEC
and APA to develop a wastewater management program for the lake that may include
some regulations but would certainly include some programmatic initiatives as well.
 
Mr. White said that there is mention of Eurasian watermilfoil in the budget.  He said that
there is some unspent funds in a grant that was received in the current year.  He said
that the grant was received through the Watershed Conference which Governor Pataki,



Senator Little, and Assembly Member Sayward announced in June of 2004.  “We were
able to pipe those funds into our system and add additional control during the summer,
about half the money and we’ll use the other half next year,” he said.  He said that this
will be an add-on to the funds the Commission has already allocated.

Mr. White said that the budget will continue funding for Zebra Mussel prevention.  He
said that there is a proposed re-allocation of funds in the amount of $8,000 for two new
marine inspectors and $12,000 for information kiosks.  He said that the kiosks will be
permanent stations at locations, either at launches or near the entrances to the Park,
where attractive signage can be placed about invasive species.  He said that the news
media recently reported an increasing number of the scary invasive species.  He said
that last week the media confirmed that a snakehead fish was recovered from Lake
Michigan.  He said that this is a species that is an extremely aggressive predator.  “It
changes the ecosystem quite dramatically and is a tremendous concern to the fishery in
the Great Lakes and now, despite efforts, has been found in Lake Michigan,” he said. 

Mr. White said that also in the news is the erection of an electrified  fish barrier across
the Illinois canal which is an effort to keep the Asian Carp from entering the Great
Lakes system.  He said that given the proximity of the Great Lakes to Lake Champlain
and to Lake George, the hydrologic connection there is something that we need to be
concerned about.  He said that there are other plants and animals, some even
microscopic, that pose a very immediate threat.  He said that these initiatives are efforts
to further improve the Commission’s contact with the public and make them aware of
the possibly devastating consequences of introduction of some of these species to the
lake.  “I have made an effort in developing this to try and identify some or all of the
different Commission priorities that we can make some progress next year,” he said.

A discussion followed on the firm selected for the water-based recreation plan.

Chairman Young asked if there were any further comments on the budget request.

Tom Conerty read and moved to approve resolution 2004-55 which was seconded by
Joan Robertson.

          WHEREAS   the Lake George Park Commission members have received and reviewed the Budget Request for the 2005-
          2006 State Fiscal Year, and

          WHEREAS   the Commission members concur that the Budget is suitable for submission as the basis for the
          Commission’s requested appropriations for Fiscal Year 2005-2006.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

                    that the Commission accepts and adopts the Fiscal Year 2005-2006 Budget Request (attached) and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED

                    that the Commission authorizes the Executive Director to submit the request to the Division of the Budget
          and to take such other steps he deems necessary to establish appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year.

The motion on the floor, all Commission members present voted affirmatively.



Item #4 - Project Review:  Resolutions

Resolution 2004-56 Project Review Report

Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-56 which directs that the
Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the minutes of the full Commission
meeting.  The motion was seconded by Joan Robertson and all members present voted
affirmatively.


Resolution 2004-56 - Madison Finley

Maggie Stewart said that Joan Robertson, Molly Gallagher and herself recently visited
the proposed site in Basin Bay in the Town of Bolton.  She asked Mr. Auffredou to
review the Commission’s procedures for the variance process.

Martin Auffredou said that the Commission’s variance procedures are set forth in
subpart 645-8 of the Commission’s regulations.  He said that the standards for
receiving a variance are that of unnecessary hardship.  He said that it is essentially a
use standard and in order to obtain a variance, the burden is upon the applicant for the
variance to establish substantial, credible evidence of unnecessary hardship.  “First and
foremost, the applicant must come forward and demonstrate that there are unique and
peculiar conditions related to the applicant’s particular situation that impose a
substantial, technological, financial or safety burden upon the applicant,” he said.  He
said that if that is established, then you move to the reasonable return standard and
because of the uniqueness that the applicant cannot obtain a reasonable return on the
property following conformity with the regulations.  “Again, unique and peculiar
conditions is step 1 –  if there are unique and peculiar conditions, then the burden turns
to the financial hardship aspect of this and it’s because of those unique and peculiar
conditions that the applicant cannot essentially receive a reasonable return on the
property following conformity with the regulations,” he said.

Mr. Auffredou said that there are two other aspects of the review criteria as well and
that is that the proposed activity will have no adverse impact on the public health,
safety, welfare, the environment or the resources of the Park and that the granting of
the variance will not alter the essential character of the area in which the proposed use
or activity is located and will not lead to congestion in the Park.  “Again, the burden is
upon the applicant to show proof to bring forth evidence for each and every component
of that standard,” he said.

Maggie Stewart said that the applicant is asking for variance due to shallow water in
Basin Bay.  She said that this is not a delta and that there has always been shallow
water in the bay.  She said that the mooring that is already there is allowed to stay and
that they are asking for another mooring that is out 130 feet.  She said that the Project
Review committee felt that this is not a unique situation and that the applicant did not
make a case for a variance.

Joan Robertson said that the one mooring has been grandfathered.  She said that she
also does not feel hardship has been proven.

Maggie Stewart said that there are already two long docks at the site.

Mr. Auffredou said that even if the Commission were to find that there is a uniqueness
here, he does not know that there is really any credible proof of the second component
which is the financial aspect of this.  He said that there is a letter from a realtor which
goes to the increase in value to the property should a second mooring be approved.  He
said that there is not an analysis in the realtor’s letter about the impact of the value to
the property absent the second mooring.  He said that as he reads the realtor’s opinion,
it’s that the property increases in value if the second mooring is approved.  “It’s not that
the realtor believes that the property owners would not obtain a reasonable return in the
marketplace for the property as is, in conformance with the regulations, the
grandfathered mooring, or otherwise.  I think that the second step is a problem as well,”
he said.

Joan Robertson said that there would be moderate congestion if another boat were
added. 

Commission members further discussed the project.  The consensus was that there is
no justification to approve the request.

Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-56 which was seconded
by Joan Robertson.

          WHEREAS   the Lake George Park Commission has reviewed the applications, supporting documents, comments
          received and other information which appears in the record; and

          WHEREAS   the Commission has made a determination pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-3.6 and the State Environmental
          Quality Review Act 6NYCRR 617.5 that the project is a Type II action and does not require further review of
          potential environmental impacts pursuant to this act; and

          WHEREAS   the action is considered to be a Minor project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been
          published and distributed; and

          WHEREAS   the applicant has applied for a permit to install a second mooring at a residential parcel; and

          WHEREAS   the applicant has requested variance from 6 NYCRR 646-1.1(c):
                    (12) Moorings shall be placed so that vessels moored to them, at the full swing of their mooring or anchor
          line, will be no closer than twenty feet to the projection of the property lines extended into the lake along the
          axis of the property lines as they intersect the lake, or a line extended at a right angle to the mean high-water
          mark, whichever results in the greater setback.  Moorings shall not be placed so that the full swing of the
          vessel extends more than one hundred feet offshore from the mean high-water mark; and

          WHEREAS   the applicant has not demonstrated that strict conformance with the regulations will cause unnecessary
          hardship due to unique and peculiar circumstances which impose substantial financial, technical and safety
          burdens.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
                    The Lake George Park Commission hereby denies the request for variance and directs staff to offer the
          applicant an opportunity to request a public hearing.

The motion on the table, all Commission members present voted affirmatively.




Item #5 - Law Enforcement:  Bruce Young

Tom Conerty said that there was a Law Enforcement Committee meeting this a.m. He
said that the Executive Session was quite lengthy and called on Lt. Schneider for a
report.

Lt. Schneider said that several upcoming Marine Patrol equipment needs were
discussed.  He said that a proposal will be forthcoming for all the equipment needs for
the Patrol at once so that Commission members will have an overview of the expense
over the course of the winter and spring.  He said that future plans for Log Bay Day was
also discussed which will be presented at a later date.

Lt. Schneider said that there is a resolution for a boat trailer intended for the new
Boston Whaler which was previously purchased for the 2004 season.

Lt. Schneider said that there was an Executive Session where on-going enforcement
cases were discussed.  No votes were taken in Executive Session.

Lt. Schneider said that the enforcement cases discussed this morning included the
following:  several stormwater cases; approximately four to five mini-marinas; a large
fee non-payment case and a large marina case.

Tom Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-58 which accepts the report
of the Law Enforcement Committee.  The motion was seconded by Tony Reale and all
Commission members present voted affirmatively.

Tom Conerty said that he has a motion for the purchase of a boat trailer.

                    Secretary’s Note:   Roger Phinney recused himself from discussion and vote.  He said
                    that he has some involvement with one of the bidders of the trailer.

Tom Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-54 which was seconded by
Tony Reale.

          WHEREAS   the Lake George Park Commission’s Aquatic Plant Control program was the recipient of the retired 1988
          Grady White Marine Patrol vessel and yard trailer for use in the control of milfoil, and

          WHEREAS   the Aquatic Plant Control Program requires use of the existing yard trailer to move, store and maintain the
          1988 Grady White for future aquatic plant control efforts, and 

          WHEREAS   the Lake George Park Commission previously purchased a replacement Marine Patrol vessel in May 2004,
          and 

          WHEREAS   a new boat trailer is necessary to store and transport the replacement Marine Patrol vessel, and

          WHEREAS   Commission staff has prepared a specification for a new boat trailer and has reviewed written quotations
          from area marinas.
 
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission is hereby authorized to allocate and spend funds not to exceed
$2,300 in total for the purchase of a new Marine Patrol vessel trailer.

FURTHER RESOLVES that the Chair is authorized to execute a purchase order for such boat trailer consistent with the findings
and requirements of the State Finance Law and Office of Standards and Purchase of the Office of General Services procurement
guidelines.
                             
The motion on the floor, Commission members present voted as follows:

AYES:    Young, Conerty, Reale, Stewart, Robertson, DeSantis, Pettica, Hall
NAYS:    None
ABSTENTIONS:  Phinney

 
Item #7 - Water Quality Programs Report:  J. Thomas Wardell

Tom Wardell said that he previously sent the October 2004 Stormwater Program report
to Commission members.  He said that three of the enforcement cases in the last
month have been settled.  He said that the consent orders have been signed and fines
have been paid.  He said that he learns something new with each case.

Mr. Wardell presented a five minute video of the water clarity at the northern end of
Lake George.  He said that the video was produced and narrated by Dr. Kenneth
Wagner of ENSR International.  He thanked David Decker for the use of his video
equipment. 

Mr. Wardell compared the water clarity depths.  He said that the clarity depth was three
feet in 2003 and that the clarify has exceeded 20 feet in all locations in 2004.  The
improvement in water clarity conditions was further discussed.

Chairman Young asked if staff is planning on going back in 2005 to check the water
clarity at the northern end of Lake George.

Mr. Wardell said that there is a possibility of revisiting the site based on feedback.

Mr. Young asked if there was any assumption made on what plants re-grew.

Mr. Wardell said that he believes all the native plants recovered, which, according to Dr.
Wagner’s report, is not uncommon under the right conditions. 


Lake Level Reading:

Mr. Wardell reported that the reading at the Rogers Rock gauge is 3.21 today.


Other Business:

Chairman Young said that he would like to read a resolution for the record and
introduced Linda Butler. 

          WHEREAS   Linda Butler is retiring from the Lake George Park Commission after a distinguished career in public service
          that spans 30 years, and

          WHEREAS   Linda Butler began her service with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 1975
          and worked in various titles and positions at both the Gore Mountain Ski Center and at the DEC District office
          in Warrensburg, New York where she is fondly remembered,  and

          WHEREAS   Linda Butler was appointed to the position of Keyboard Specialist with the Lake George Park Commission on
          November 8, 1990 and later promoted on April 18, 1996 to the position of Clerk 2, and

          WHEREAS   during her tenure with the Commission, Linda Butler provided essential support and energy in the
          implementation of a system of annual boat and dock registrations that is the primary funding source and life
          blood of the Commission, and

          WHEREAS   in this work she established the customer service functions of the Regulatory Information and Compliance
          Program and provided assistance on behalf of the Commission to tens of thousands of the public, and

          WHEREAS,  as Clerk 2, Linda Butler was instrumental in the development of the agency’s accounts receivable program
          and single handedly reduced past due accounts by an amount of money that could only be determined if and
          when her yellow pads of data were to be transcribed to a format understandable by others but which certainly
          was a lot of money, and

          WHEREAS   throughout her years of service,  Linda Butler has shown immense patience, a profound dedication to work, a
          boundless good nature, and an honesty and integrity in her relations with others that exemplify the best of
          human values, and

          WHEREAS   Linda’s family, husband Tom and daughters Vicky, Heather and Kiely have supported her in her work all
          these years and Linda’s dedication to her family is known and respected by her colleagues as a model for
          others to emulate.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission paused in their deliberations today, October 26,
2004 to give recognition to the tremendous contribution that Linda Butler has made to the spirit and values of the Commission
organization and to convey heart-felt congratulations to Linda on this occasion of her retirement from New York State service,
and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that your friends and colleagues of the Commission’s extended family extend our thanks to you for
friendship and good will and offer our sincere best wishes to you and your family as you embark upon this new and exciting
phase of life. Don’t be a stranger. 

The resolution was unanimously approved by all.


Item #8 - Public Comments

Lake George Association

Susan Barden representing the Lake George Association (LGA), gave an update on
lake saving projects.  She said that a recently completed lake saving project included
the creation of a sediment retention pond on Alden Brook in the Town of Hague.  She
said that this was a collaborative effort between the Town of Hague, the Town of Lake
George, the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cape Code Village
and the LGA.  She said that the pond is designed to slow the water down and allow
much of the sediment to settle out thereby reducing the sediment loading to the lake.




Ms. Barden said that the LGA, in cooperation with the Water County Soil and Water
Conservation District, teamed up with local highway departments to undertake two
reservoir clean-out projects.  She said that the projects are located at Artist Falls in
Bolton Landing and at Gage Brook in the Town of Lake George.   “By dredging these
basins, we increased their capacity to catch and retain sediment before entering the
lake and contributing to the growth of the Finkle and West Brook deltas,” she said.


The FUND for Lake George, Inc.

Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper, announced a change in personnel at the
FUND for Lake George.  He said that the executive director’s position held by Ms. Mary
Dreyer has been made a full-time position which Ms. Dreyer is unable to fulfill.  He said
that Sharon Borgos has been appointed executive director starting November 1, 2004.


Lake George Watershed Conference

David Decker said that the 2nd annual forum on water quality and resource
conservation held at the Fort William Henry Conference Center concluded.  He said
that he was happy to report that there were over 65 participants.  He said that the
largest contingent was from the Town of Hague and that the second largest was the
Park Commission.  “Speaking on behalf of all the members of the conference, we
certainly welcome that support and demonstration of leadership on behalf of the
Commission,” he said.

Mr. Decker said that a theme is chosen each year and that this year’s theme was ‘think
and act regionally.’  He said Attorney Patricia E. Salkin, director of the Center for Local
Government at the Albany Law School, was the keynote speaker.  He said that
numerous comments were made that Ms. Salkin’s discussion was lively and
invigorating.  He said that representatives from outside the Conference included the
Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Adirondack Invasive Plant Program, Ontario
County, New York State On-Site Training Network and the Lake George Fishing
Alliance. 

Mr. Decker said that the stewardship awards which are in recognition of individuals and
entities around the lake were presented to the following:

            Lake George Mirror
            Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District
            Mr. John Gaddy
            Froelich Foundation. 

Mr. Decker said that  next year’s forum will be October 18th and 19th and will be held at
the Fort William Henry Conference Center in Lake George.

Mr. Decker offered a letter or resolution of support for the Commission’s budget from
the Lake George Watershed Conference.


Item #9 - Adjournment

On the motion of Joan Robertson, seconded by Maggie Stewart, all present voting
affirmatively, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.



                        Respectively submitted,




                        Kathleen Ledingham
                        Commission Secretary


                    Secretary’s Note:   The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY,
                    November 30th, 2004 at the Fort William Henry Conference
                    Center, Canada Street, Lake George, NY.