Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

Your Support Needed for Request for Funding from Onondaga County Legislature

The Skaneateles Lake Association has submitted a letter to the Onondaga County Legislature for funding for a new boat motor that is needed for one of our pontoon boats.  A call, email or letter to your district legislator in support of this request would be helpful in getting the votes that are needed to grant the request.  The fund the legislature has for making the grant is generated from hotel taxes and the intent of the grant funding is to support activities/programs that promote tourism.  The SLA Board believes that the beautiful water of Skaneateles Lake is not only a gem to all of us who live in the lake community, but also a drawing card for visitors, and thus users of our area hotels, inns, restaurants and shops.  If you live in Syracuse, Dewitt, Fayetteville or any other Onondaga town, please send your letter or email your district legislator with a copy to the Chairman, Ryan McMahon III, or make your call to your district legislator.

Our letter to our Skaneateles Area Legislator  follows and should provide you with all the information necessary to write a brief letter or email of support or make a phone call supporting the request.

Following the letter,  the contact information for all of the Onondaga County Legislators is listed.


Michael E. Plochocki, Legislator 6th District
4753 Holwett Hill Road
Marcellus, NY 13108

Via email to:

April 24, 2015

Dear Legislator Plochocki:

The mission of the Skaneateles Lake Association is to promote environmentally and aesthetically sound regional management of Skaneateles Lake and its watershed.

Originated in 1969 as the Skaneateles Lake Pure Water Association, Tax Exempt status [501(c)(3)] was received in 1971 and it has been maintained while transitioning into the Tri County Skaneateles Lake Association and the Tri County Skaneateles Lake Pure Water Association. In January 2011, the organization name was changed to the Skaneateles Lake Association with the Tax Exempt status maintained. The Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and membership is open to everyone.

In order to ensure the integrity of the lake and its watershed for generations to come, the goals of the Lake Association (and its predecessor organizations) are to:

  • Educate residents, government agencies and others using the lake about threats to the lake and its watershed;
  • Take all action necessary to protect and improve the water quality of Skaneateles Lake and to protect and improve its watershed;
  • Promote environmentally sound and aesthetically sound regional management of Skaneateles Lake by encouraging cooperation among the Skaneateles Lake watershed communities.

In 2007 the presence of milfoil invading the clear, pure waters of Skaneateles Lake became a serious concern.  With some initial grant funding and generous local support work was started to remove large patches of milfoil from the lake using a technique designed and engineered by our own resident volunteers. This effort involved underwater hand weeding and removal of the milfoil. The hand removal is a labor intensive process. It produced positive results and still needs to be used in some areas of the lake, but those involved knew that a larger scale method was necessary to turn the tide and prevent the lake from being overgrown with milfoil. The method devised and the equipment to carry it out was developed and manufactured locally ….benthic matting of large areas of Milfoil was born and the method has been significant to our success in both killing the milfoil and preventing its spread. Seven years late, our milfoil program is one of maintenance, but still expensive. The entire milfoil program continues to be funded with minimal governmental funds and the continued generosity of those who love the lake.

Currently, one of our most important piece of equipment, the pontoon boat that transports the heavy rolls of benthic matting (30 – 85 feet long by 12 1/2 foot wide with metal cable sewn into seams every 6 feet) needs a new motor. The matting is heavy when it is taken out by pontoon boat to be laid on the bottom of the lake and even heavier when it is rolled up wet and put on the pontoon boat for transport back to storage. The motor currently used is both not of sufficient horse power and also frequently in need of repair. This makes the transporting of the benthic matting both slow and often interrupted. The lost time is expensive and also reduces the hours the staff has to get work done.

Threats to the lake from other invasive plants and animals are also a serious issue. Three years ago, the Skaneateles Lake Association initiated an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program. We have been posting trained Stewards at launch sites around the lake to work cooperatively with those launching watercraft in order to ensure that all watercraft being launched are clean, dry and drained before launching. They also emphasize the importance of draining boats before exiting the lake to prevent carrying any plant or animal material to other bodies of water. The Steward program is supported by more generous donations from those who love the lake.

The clear, pure waters of Skaneateles Lake are a clear drawing card for tourists to our community and thus Onondaga County. They come for a day, a few days, a week and months. They stay in our hotels, inns and rental homes. They shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants and they all go home marveling about our beautiful lake which encourages more people to come.

Funding the scope of work and efforts we take to meet our goals including the milfoil maintenance program, the Lake Steward program and our public education efforts requires extensive fund raising efforts and our volunteers have been successful at meeting our goals. We need help with the capital expense of purchasing a new motor for our pontoon boat that is used to transport the benthic matting.

We are requesting the County Legislature to consider an expedited consideration of this request for $7,500 from its contingency fund to purchase the motor needed. It is a funding that will directly support continued and expanded tourism to our county including more hotel use, more sales taxes from restaurants and stores and even job growth. Skaneateles Lake is a gem of Onondaga County, our efforts keep it shining and its shine attracts tourists by car, bus, bike, train and plane from across the state, the country and even around the world.

We encourage you to visit our website at for a visual presentation of all that we do. If you need additional information to consider this request, please contact our Treasurer and Coordinator of the Milfoil Project, Dr. Robert Werner at 315-685-4750 or by email at

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc., thank you for your consideration of this request.


Fran Fish
Board of Directors
Skaneateles Lake Association

Cc: J. Ryan McMahon, II|
Chairman, Onondaga County Legislature


Brian May
Brian F. May, 1st District (R)
1395 River Bend Drive
Baldwinsville, NY 13027(315) 447-4914 (c)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Kevin Holmquist Kevin A. Holmquist, 10th District (R)
123 Summerhaven Drive S.
E. Syracuse, NY 13057
(315) 637-8364 (h)(315) 256-7346 (c)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
John Dougherty
John C. Dougherty, 2nd District (R)
4350 Loveland Drive,
Liverpool, NY 13090(315) 944-0716 (c)(315) 435-2070 (w)


Kilmartin photo *Patrick M. Kilmartin, 11th District (R)
4482 Renee Meadows
Syracuse, NY 13215
(315) 498-6398 (h)
(315) 295-0810 (w)
Tim Burtis
Tim Burtis
3rd District (R)
9444 Hawkeye Drive
Brewerton, NY 13029
(315) 396-3300 (c)(315) 435-2070 (w)
David Knapp David H. Knapp, 12th District (R)
PO BOX 467
LaFayette, NY 13084
(315) 558-0154 (c)(315) 435-2070 (w)
Tassone photo
Judith A. Tassone, 4th District (R)
4855 Thornwood Drive
Liverpool, NY 13088(315) 457-5458 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Derek Shepard Derek T. Shepard, Jr., 13th District (R)
79 Syracuse Street
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
(315) 635-3875 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Kathy Rapp
Kathleen A. Rapp, 5th District (R)
437 Jewell Drive
Liverpool, NY 13088
(315) 451-5294 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Jordan photo Casey E. Jordan, 14th District (R)
8133 Rizzo Drive
Clay, NY 13041
(315) 699-7246 (h)
(315) 474-2644 (w)
Michael Plochocki
Michael E. Plochocki, 6th District (R)
4753 Holwett Hill Road
Marcellus, NY 13108
(315) 263-3172 (c)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Ryan McMahon **J. Ryan McMahon, II, 15th District (R)
113 Carlton Road
Syracuse, NY 13208
(315) 415-2520 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Danny Liedka
Danny J. Liedka, 7th District (R)
211 McCool Avenue
E. Syracuse, NY 13057
(315) 403-0291 (c)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Monica Williams Monica Williams, 16th District (D)
104 Benedict Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210(315) 395-0642 (c)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Christopher Ryan
Christopher J. Ryan, 8th District (D)
205 Maple Road
Syracuse, NY 13219
(315) 484-9171 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)
Linda Ervin *Linda R. Ervin, 17th District (D)
6331 Danbury Drive
Jamesville, NY 13078
(315) 449-1050 (h)(315) 435-2070 (w)
Peggy Chase
Peggy Chase, 9th District (D)
440 Ridgewood Drive
Syracuse, NY 13206
(315) 437-2035 (h)
(315) 435-2070 (w)

Donation to SLA means donation to you

A few weeks ago the SLA received a membership renewal with an additional generous donation.  Subsequently, I happened to “run into” the individual and thanked him for the support.  He responded, “I live on the lakefront.  It is a donation to me.”  At our first annual meeting of the SLA held in concert with the Finger Lakes Land Trust a few years ago one of the speakers emphasized the same thought, but he expanded it to have meaning for the entire lake community, not just those who live on lakefront property.  While I can’t, years later, quote him, in essence he said that if you live here in the lake community supporting the SLA in its work to keep this lake clear and pure is a no brainer and that your membership is a donation to yourself in support of the community in which you live.

Please keep the words and thoughts of both of these people in mind.  Look around your community and ask yourself what would it be like to live here without this beautiful lake and all of the quality of life that it brings to the community and JOIN the SLA for 2015 today.  You can join easily at You can enhance your annual membership fee by paying it by check thus saving us the fee we would have to pay to PayPal for a credit card or PayPal account payment.  If you do not have access to the internet call 315-685-9106 and I will send you a 2015 Registration Form and a return envelope.

If you are doing some shopping for Mother’s Day Support the SLA through Amazon Smile… Every Little Bit Helps

The Skaneateles Lake Association has registered with Amazon to be a recipient under their Amazon Smile Program. This program enables you to choose the Skaneateles Lake Association as the recipient of a donation from Amazon each time you shop on Amazon. com.If you are interested the procedure for using it is quite simple:

Visit Log in to your Amazon account. Search for “Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc.” Start shopping. Amazon will donate an amount equivalent to 0.5% of your purchases directly to the Skaneateles Lake Association. While the percentage is small it can be a significant contribution if a large number of our members participate.  There is no cost to the shopper. The donation comes directly from Amazon.  Please check it out at

 Source: Skaneateles Journal