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Tannersville may rent harvester from Saugerties to clear Rip Van Winkle Lake

Apr 01, 2022 1:00 am

Paul Kirby is reporting for the Daily Freeman officials in Saugerties are considering whether to rent the village's aquatic weed harvesting boat to municipalities like Tannersville in an effort to fund the purchase of a second harvester. If Tannersville is able to rent the equipment it would be used to clear Rip Van Winkle Lake, Saugerties village Trustee Donald Hackett said March 31. “It would be for about $6,000 for six or seven days and … contracted at $500 a day after that,” he said. Rip Van Winkle Lake covers more than 325 square miles. It has an assortment of water-based plants overgrowing on its eastern end while the west end is relatively clear and used for recreation. Tannersville Clerk Robin Dumont said the village is waiting for state Department of Environmental Conservation approval before it can move forward with the agreement. “The vegetation is not bad on the swimming area side and we just rehabbed that beach with one of our Department of State grants,” Dumont said. “It’s more in the center and the backside of the lake. It’s very difficult to canoe and boat.” Water weeds in Saugerties have been cleared from the Lower Esopus Creek, with efforts concentrated on an area that extends about 350 feet from the village beach and is about 400 feet wide. Officials got serious about buying the weed harvester after the village beach could not open in 2018 because the weeds sprouted and within a month expanded to cover the creek in front of the swimming area. The boat was purchased in 2019 for $58,000 from Marine Diving Service. The watercraft uses a barrel-shaped pulling wheel in the front to either pull the long weeds up or skim smaller floating plants from the top of the water. The plant then lands on a conveyor belt and is shuttled up an incline before being dropped into a 4-by-8-foot storage container. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

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