Last summer, Paine Lake became badly overgrown with lily pads. Lilies have a positive effect on water quality, but their near-total coverage of the lake surface certainly detracted from the lake’s pleasant appearance. In an effort to address this problem, the County Department of Planning recently commissioned a study to examine plant control options. Their recommended long-term remedy: partial dredging of Paine Lake to increase the depth of the water and prevent lilies from taking root. Dredging would also have a beneficial effect on the lake’s general health and water retention capacity. Unfortunately, the cost of such an undertaking is estimated at approximately $300,000 to $400,000. While the City looks for grant opportunities to help fund such a project, we are taking immediate action to control the lily population by periodically sending crews in boats to simply shear off the plants. This is harder work than one might imagine, but it should serve to restore the lake’s appearance while planning for a long-term solution proceeds.
About two years ago, the City developed plans to improve Beechmont Lake by removing leaves, soil, and other debris that have accumulated in the northern quarter of the lake and the adjoining retention basin. It is still our firm intent to proceed with this effort. Unfortunately, the removal and relocation of silted material requires the approval of the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which has not yet provided us with an official go-ahead. The City’s Department of Public Works is in regular touch with State authorities in an effort to move things along. I will continue pressing for the speediest possible resolution.