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State will handle certain permits

KEUKA LAKE—Yates Sheriff Sgt. Ed Nemitz spoke to the Keuka Lake Association about a change in the dock and mooring law, at the group’s annual meeting at Keuka College, Saturday, July 10.
He said that permits for bouys out farther than 100 feet from shore need to be issued by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Nemitz explained the state’s legal department agreed with him this is how it should have been handled. Nemitz said residents were getting applications denied the way it was being handled.
Sheriff’s Marine Officer Patrick Newby also received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award at the meeting, for helping save the life of an injured man last June.
The award presentation was during the lake patrol report given to KLA members. The recognition was from the National Association of State Boating Law Administration.
Sheriff Ron Spike said last year a man was severely injured in a boating accident, but Newby jumped into the water “without hesitation” and kept the man afloat for 20 minutes. Newby was previously given an award for Marine Enforcement Officer of the Year for the same act, at the April Yates County Legislative meeting.
During the lake patrol report, Steuben Sheriff Joel Ordway also reported on the county’s pharmaceutical pick-up program where people can drop off old medications. He encouraged residents of Keuka Lake make use of the next such program in Hammondsport, even if they live in Yates County.
Steve Butchko, Wayne superintendent and Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative chair, also gave a report. He talked about how with help from the KLA, KWIC has been able to create a wastewater inspection database. He said “it allows us to keep track of the permitting process.”
Jim Barre spoke about Hydrofracking and drilling for Marcellus Shale. Barre explained there are 1,343 leased parcels in Yates County, with most of them in the Barrington/Starkey area.
Barre said the KLA has submitted comments twice to the DEC on the state’s proposed drilling regulations. He added the group told the state to treat Keuka Lake like New York City’s water source. Barre said the KLA is looking to join a Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance as a way to have the Finger Lakes together on the matter.
Yates County Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Peter Landre gave an annual state of the lake. He said overall, the lake is “ideal” with low nutrient levels. He said the lake levels are on the end of spectrum they should be.
Landre also spoke about invasive species, mentioning there are generally fewer zebra mussels in the lake except in the south end. He talked briefly about some species to look out for, including water chestnut, Didymo or “rock snot,” Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, Emerald Ash Borer and Japanese Knotweed.

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