Local News

Lake Placid to weigh in on pond weed issue

LAKE PLACID - When Marni Dravik and her husband went out on Lake June in their boat, the boat's props became tangled in Illinois pond weed and the craft wouldn't move, she recalled Tuesday at a Lake Placid Town Council meeting. Her husband nearly drowned after having his feet tangled in the weed while trying to free the prop, she said. "We never thought this could happen to us, but it did, and it scared the living daylights out of us," she said. Dravik and other Lake June area residents attended the meeting in hopes that the Town Council would seek more action from the state to control a weed that some say has grown as though its on steroids.
The council voted in favor of expressing concerns about the lake, but the exact wording of a resolution will be decided at a future meeting. Council member Steve Bastardi said the hope is that a council resolution will have some weight and prompt people at a higher level to act to control the weed. "We push the ball and it runs into a bigger ball," he said. Bastardi said the problem is of great importance to Lake Placid because the "lakes represent a significant portion of the (town's) economic engine." Last month, residents of the Lake June area crammed a meeting with the state about the weed in the lake. Many of those residents say the state should do more to control the native weed in an area larger than just public boat launch areas. Council member Debra Worley said she favors a resolution supporting more action by the state, but added that some spraying of the weed has been done and the town should look at the results of that action. Worley also convinced the council to support creation of the Lake Placid Watershed Advisory Board, which will deal with watershed issues. Although creating the board is a separate matter from the pond weed issue, she said, it's related because the board will look at run-off into the lake. The run-off may be depositing nutrients that spurred the growth of the weed, she said. Sandy Pelski, a resident along Lake June, said she was pleased the council took some action toward a resolution. "It's a first step," she said. She hasn't seen any indication the state has done any more than it said it would, which was to deal with the weed in the public boat launch efforts. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834