Harveys Lake water quality improved despite presence of invasive plant

By Eileen Godin - egodin@timesleader.com | May 18th, 2016 1:34 pm

By Eileen Godin


A net filled with brown trout is stocked in Harveys Lake last month.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_web1_troutstocking3.jpgA net filled with brown trout is stocked in Harveys Lake last month.

HARVEYS LAKE — The state’s largest natural lake will be taken off the Department of Environmental Protection “impaired lake list,” the director of aquatic programs at Princeton Hydro told borough council Tuesday.

Harveys Lake’s water health status is not completely cleared of all pollution levels, but is on its way, due to the borough’s extensive storm water management program, Fred Lubnow, the director of aquatic programs at Princeton Hydro said.

The presence of a highly aggressive water plant called hydrilla in a section of the lake remains a concern, he said.

Hydrilla is a fast-growing invasive aquatic plant that can reproduce from vegetation fragments. If left unchecked, hydrilla could overtake the lake, growing to create a mat-like covering on the lake surface and choke out other vegetation and fish.

The lake’s removal from the “impaired lake list” will not hinder the municipality from receiving grant funding to fight off the plant, Lubnow said.

The borough’s DEP grant application to combat hydrilla was denied, Lubnow said but “another round of grant funding will open in June.”

“I am looking for other funding sources (to remove hydrilla),” Lubnow said.

Lubnow had more good news for the borough council.

“On Monday, I had a meeting at DEP about establishing water quality thresholds,” Lubnow said. “They are going to use the lake as a reference for high-quality water.”

The news made many council members smile.

“Clear water, low nutrients, low algae,” Lubnow said. “But we still need to deal with the hydrilla.”

In other news, attorney Matt Loftus, who was covering for borough solicitor Thomas O’Connor, opened four sealed bids for the sale of former police vehicles including a 2010 Dodge Charger and a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria.

The bidders were as follows:

• Yousef Dabbagh, Island Lake, Illinois, $1,668 for the Dodge Charger;

• Leonard Nardozza, Nanticoke, $1,300 for the Dodge Charger;

• BayRidge Motors, Staten Island, New York, $677 for the Dodge Charger; and

• Chicago Motors Inc., of Chicago Illinois, $1,307 for the Dodge Charger and $207 for the Ford Crown Victoria.

Councilmember Thomas Kehler made a motion to reject the bids and re-advertise the vehicles. The motion was seconded by Ed Kelly and unanimously passed.

“I do not think the bids were high enough,” Kehler said.

The following upcoming community events were announced:

Luzerne County 2016 Tire Recycling Collection, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hanover Area Junior-Senior High School, 1600 Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Township.

• Harveys Lake annual Clean Up Day, June 6. Items not accepted are: tires, household waste, yard waste, demolish waste, electronics, paint, stains or pesticides. A fee of $10 to remove major appliances and $3 for batteries and propane tanks will be applied. Stickers will be sold before pick-up of items, Boice said.

• Lake Fest, Aug. 5 and 6. A dance is planned for Friday, Aug. 5. A walk benefiting Candy’s Place is scheduled for Saturday morning. The Harveys Lake Fire Company will hold a parade Saturday afternoon.

The next meeting of the Harveys Lake Borough Council is slated for 7:30 p.m. June 21 in the municipal building.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.