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Monday, November 10, 2008

New Machine Helps CLA Clean Lake

By The Post-Journal Staff,
POSTED: November 10, 2008

LAKEWOOD - When Dora Cicchini of West Ellicott discovered a mammoth willow tree had fallen into an area of Chautauqua Lake in front of her home, she called several state agencies for help.
She was informed the tree's removal would be her responsibility. She then called the Chautauqua Lake Association for advice. Not long after, a large orange harvester with hydraulic arms and clam-shell graspers arrived and removed the tree before sunset.
Thanks to a grant from the Sheldon Foundation, a new piece of heavy equipment called a Hydro-Mate is now part of the association's fleet of harvesters.
''This machine will provide us with the power to remove and haul fallen trees, sediment and other debris from the lake,'' said Paul Swanson, Chautauqua Lake Association general manager. ''It will be of great service for lakeside residents, boaters and tourists because it will help us keep the lake clean and safe.''
The Hydro-Mate went into the water in August and has been hard at work ever since, Swanson said.
''Our crew is a lot more efficient with this equipment when it comes to removing unsightly debris from the lake,'' he said.
In addition to the Sheldon Foundation, the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission also played a vital role in obtaining the equipment for the Chautauqua Lake Association, according to board member Terry Turner.
''The CLMC identified a need for shoreline clean-up equipment and worked with the Sheldon Foundation to provide the proper funding for the CLA,'' Turner said. ''We were very happy with the end result.''
Lakeside residents appear to be happy as well.
''Removing that willow would have been a huge and expensive undertaking for me,'' Mrs. Cicchini said. ''I am grateful to the CLA for providing this wonderful service for those living near and on the lake.''
The CLA is a not for profit organization and relies on money from private donations, foundations and grants. They also depend on town, village, state and county funding administered through the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission. For more information, call the association at 763-8602.

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